Where the Crawdads Sing
By: Delia Owens
Publisher: GP Putnam
Publication Date: 8/14/2018
My Rating: 5 Stars ++ Top Books of 2018 "Painfully beautiful."--The New York Times Book Review "Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver."—Bustle "Owens delivers her lush mystery wrapped in gorgeous, lyrical prose."—Alexandra Fuller
How long can you protect your heart? For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life--until the unthinkable happens.
Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
Review to follow.
Audio Narrated by Cassandra Campbell
Earphones Award Winner by Delia Owens | Read by Cassandra Campbell Fiction • 12.25 hrs. • Unabridged • © 2018
Narrator Cassandra Campbell serves up a bushel of Carolina accents in this debut novel by nature writer Delia Owens. Campbell's accents give the mix of classes and regions in the story the same realistic detail Owens provides for the marsh. Kya, a girl abandoned by her family in the isolated marshes of North Carolina, comes of age with little social contact in the 1950s and '60s. Campbell gives us her story in a reverent documentary tone that does justice to the rich descriptions of the natural world that nurtures and fascinates Kya. This story is interspersed with the 1969 murder of the town golden boy, Chase Andrews. The investigation and trial unfurl slowly with a more reportorial tone. Prepare to be enchanted and haunted. S.T.C. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine [Published: SEPTEMBER 2018]
A painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature....Owens here surveys the desolate marshlands of the North Carolina coast through the eyes of an abandoned child. And in her isolation that child makes us open our own eyes to the secret wonders—and dangers—of her private world.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Steeped in the rhythms and shadows of the coastal marshes of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, this fierce and hauntingly beautiful novel centers on...Kya’s heartbreaking story of learning to trust human connections, intertwine[d] with a gripping murder mystery, revealing savage truths. An astonishing debut.”—People
“This lush mystery is perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver.”—Bustle
“A lush debut novel, Owens delivers her mystery wrapped in gorgeous, lyrical prose. It’s clear she’s from this place—the land of the southern coasts, but also the emotional terrain—you can feel it in the pages. A magnificent achievement, ambitious, credible and very timely.”—Alexandra Fuller, New York Times bestselling author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight
“Reminiscent of Barbara Kingsolver, this Southern-set period novel unfurls a whodunit against a typical coming-of-age tale, when a mysterious “Marsh Girl” becomes the primary suspect of a grisly crime.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Delia Owen’s gorgeous novel is both a coming-of-age tale and an engrossing whodunit.”—Real Simple
“Evocative...Kya makes for an unforgettable heroine.”—Publishers Weekly
“The New Southern novel...A lyrical debut.”—Southern Living
“Slow down and let this lush nature-focused story unspool....A mystery will pull you along, but stay awhile in the descriptions of shifting tides, shell collections, and the mottled light of coastal Carolina.”—Garden & Gun
“A nature-infused romance with a killer twist.”—Refinery29
“Both a coming-of-age story and a mysterious account of a murder investigation told from the perspective of a young girl...Through Kya’s story, Owens explores how isolation affects human behavior, and the deep effect that rejection can have on our lives.”—Vanity Fair
“Lyrical...Its appeal ris[es] from Kya’s deep connection to the place where makes her home, and to all of its creatures.”—Booklist
“This beautiful, evocative novel is likely to stay with you for many days afterward....absorbing.”—AARP
“Compelling, original...A mystery, a courtroom drama, a romance and a coming-of-age story, Where the Crawdads Sing is a moving, beautiful tale. Readers will remember Kya for a long, long time.”—ShelfAwareness
“With prose luminous as a low-country moon, Owens weaves a compelling tale of a forgotten girl in the unforgiving coastal marshes of North Carolina. It is a murder mystery/love story/courtroom drama that readers will love, but the novel delves so much deeper into the bone and sinew of our very nature, asking often unanswerable questions, old and intractable as the marsh itself. A stunning debut!”—Christopher Scotton, author of The Secret Wisdom of the Earth
“A compelling mystery with prose so luminous it can cut through the murkiest of pluff mud.”—Augusta Chronicle
“Carries the rhythm of an old time ballad. It is clear Owens knows this land intimately, from the black mud sucking at footsteps to the taste of saltwater and the cry of seagulls.”—David Joy, author of The Line That Held Us
About the Author
Delia Owens lived in some of the most remote areas of Africa for twenty three years while she conducted scientific research on lions, elephants and others. Based on these expeditions and adventures, she co-authored three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from the University of California in Davis. She has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, Journal of Mammalogy, The African Journal of Ecology, and International Wildlife, among many others. She currently lives in Idaho.
Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel. Read More