- File Size: 3829 KB
- Print Length: 379 pages
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (August 14, 2018)
- Publication Date: August 14, 2018
- Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B078GD3DRG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Where the Crawdads Sing Kindle Edition
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From the Publisher
“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
“Heart-wrenching...A fresh exploration of isolation and nature from a female perspective along with a compelling love story.”—Entertainment Weekly
“This wonderful novel has a bit of everything—mystery, romance, and fascinating characters, all told in a story that takes place in North Carolina.”—Nicholas Sparks, New York Times bestselling author of Every Breath
“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
“A nature-infused romance with a killer twist.”—Refinery29
“Anyone who liked The Great Alone will want to read Where the Crawdads Sing....This astonishing debut is a beautiful and haunting novel that packs a powerful punch. It’s the first novel in a long time that made me cry.”—Kristin Hannah, author of The Great Alone and The Nightingale
“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
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I have to confess that I have also had magical moments with marsh creatures such as herons, eagles, and mud turtles. Like the main character, Kya, I am a compulsive collector of treasures from those Great Rock Tumblers: the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean which makes this book so attractive to me. However, Delia Owens' writing is more than just about the natural world. She spins a good and very well-written tale about murder, courtroom drama, nature, poetry, and even love.
Another reviewer described Owens' writing as lyrical. It is. Take your time and savor every sentence.
I only keep few book's that I know I will read again. This is staying in my library.
Top international reviews
If this flimsy and wholly ridiculous plot line were in any way to be redeemed, it might have been through quality of writing because of the interesting environment of the swamp and its wildlife, but even in this the novel fails. The only passable passages are indeed the ones in which Ms Owens describes the swamp life. The dialogue is ridiculous, the love scenes are stitched together out of worn-out cliches, and the suspension of disbelief required of the reader is just asking way too much.
I have no doubt that Delia Owens is an excellent naturalist and ecologist and an asset to her field. But as a novelist, she doesn't cut it. Don't waste your money on this book.
For months now – since it was the September 2018 Reece Witherspoon Hello Sunshine Book Club choice – I have seen nothing but glowing reviews of this seminal novel. It will, I am sure become a classic in its own right (there, I have already given away how I feel about the book!). The actress has also optioned the film rights for it.
This is the story of Kya, shortened from Catherine Danielle, who lives in the swampy marshes of North Caroline, not far from Asheville. Her mother walked out on her when she was young and she still has visions of her departure, suitcase in hand, faux snakeskin shoes, tripping her way down the track and out of sight. Her older siblings have also abandoned life in the little homestead, leaving her with her oftentimes drunk and violent father; he is around less and less as he fritters away any income, there is money neither for food nor clothes. To all intents and purposes she is abandoned by those who are important in her life and she is tasked with raising herself, this little “marsh girl” who has nothing in her life but the nature surrounding their hovel. The birds and wildlife are her companions. Oh, and she has access to her father’s small boat which gives her some mobility. She is adept at cruising the waterways.
Years pass and her loneliness becomes entrenched. Tate is drawn to this skinny young girl but ultimately he forsakes her for his studies, leaving her abandoned once again. Soon she is befriended by Chase, a dapper young man about town, a womaniser and who, we know, is found dead at the outset of the novel lying at the bottom of the Fire Tower. Natural suspicion amongst the nearby townsfolk falls on Kya because she is an oddball, she lives in poverty, she is different…. and she is female. Remember this is a time in American history when there was discrimination against anyone who was different to the overwhelmingly white populace. The author has an acute eye for capturing people, prejudices and small town life.
Kya, surrounded by the natural world starts to record what she sees and experiences. This holds her in good stead as her life develops. Yet she is no match as a single, lonely girl for the bigoted views held by those around her. A storm of prejudice and a need to see justice done, at any cost, whips through the community, targeting her as the only viable suspect in the murder case.
Loneliness is a theme throughout the novel that makes this a particularly heartfelt and poignant story.
What makes this a fabulous read are the rich descriptions, the language and the languorous pace that, just like the waterways, move the story along at just the right tempo. The setting comes to life beautifully. The writing and storytelling has been compared to the work of Barbara Kingsolver and I can really see why!
The title comes from common parlance in the area and means …far in the bush where critters are wild, still behaving like critters…
I was sad when this book came to an end and it is still vibrantly with me, a couple of weeks down the line. It indeed has all the hallmarks of a future classic!
Kya quickly becomes more at ease with nature than people and her relationships with the opposite sex are traumatic.
Delia Owens' rich,descriptive prose gives us a valuable insight into the scenery and wildlife of the region but most importantly the intriguing character of Kya.
I gave this four stars because the beginning was painfully slow,the poetry becomes annoying after a time and the timetable of events at the Fire Tower seemed implausible.
This is a book every mother should give to her daughter about the age twelve or thirteen. But men will appreciate it too. And there should be a film. If I ever read a book which should be a movie, this is it.
Imagine you are the youngest girl in a family of five other siblings and Ma and Pa. Pa is an alcoholic abuser of his wife and most unpleasant fellow. After enduring him for years, Ma walks out of the marsh one day and never returns. This is only the beginning of the abandonment of Kya, five years old. I hope that peaked your interest as I have no intention of ruining one of the best stories I've ever read by telling you more. Let's just say, that you will never forget Kya long after you've finished the book.
Where the Crawdads Sing is an extraordinary tale, well told.
I think I will return to my faster paced thrillers and mysteries.
The murder storyline held me for a while, but ultimately it was no surprise when I found the 'twist.' It was kind of telegraphed.
The characters, which should have been the driving force behind what seemed like a literary novel at first, were mostly flat and cliched; that was a disappointment; much more could have been made of them, which would have enriched the reading experience. The brother coming and going was a bit pointless and went nowhere, and the white-hat/black-hat aspect of the two young men in Kya's life was another cliche that brought the rating down.
The writing was often startlingly good, there were many sentences which really sang, but overall it all felt a bit cobbled together, and the intrigue felt shoe-horned in. Also it did feel a bit like a nature lesson at times, with the descriptions nicely done but unnecessary, and delivered in a very lecture-like way. Not as they'd be viewed from the 'Swamp Girl's' perspective.
Overall then, I liked the writing, and the premise was promising, but I don't think it quite delivered in the end.
The chapters alternate between the times following the discovery of the body and times after 1952, in which the first chapter is set.
The central figure of the novel is Kya (Catherine) Clark, at this point aged six, the youngest of five children. Kya’s father is a violent drunk, and her much-loved mother, who was educated and a painter, could no longer stand his attacks. She left, abandoning her children. Kya’s four elder siblings also cannot stand their father, and, before long, they leave also, (including Jodie, her favourite brother), leaving Kya alone with her father; and he was almost always out, playing poker and drinking whisky and, in 1956, when Kya was ten, he disappeared altogether. The truant officers had taken to school, but she hated being with so many people and attended only one day, and later hid from the truant officers until they gave up.
Her loneliness is in part self-inflicted: she is frightened of most other people (except for the friendly black couple who ran a local store), and tends to hide herself from them. She is illiterate, but she loves, and is knowledgeable about, all the fauna and flora around her, and she had a fine collection of feathers, shells and other such objects, and had done wonderful drawings and paintings of them.
She made a little money for her barest necessities by collecting and selling sacksful of mussels.
Back in 1953 she had come across Tate Walker, then aged eleven, who shared her enthusiasm for the fauna and flora of the marshes. Seven years later, he gently courted the timid girl, and she responded. He tactfully taught her to read, and even to appreciate poetry, and the book has her reciting many poems by heart. She read voraciously, especially scientific books about nature. When, at the age of fifteen, she has her first period cramps, it is Tate who has to explain to her what they are. There is a tender awakening of physical love between them. Out of respect for her youth, Tate did not go the whole way, though both of them longed for it. And then he had to go away to college to study biology. He promised to be back at Thanksgiving – but he never turned up. Now her loneliness was the worst of heart aches.
Four years passed; she is now nineteen. She was then spotted by Chase Andrews, the handsome village Lothario. He, too, courted her, and eventually she responded to his advances. They now met frequently. After a year, he talked of marrying her, and then she surrendered her virginity to him. And then she saw in a local newspaper the announcement of his engagement to another woman. This did not stop him, when next they ran across each other, from trying to rape her, and she only escaped after a violent struggle.
Tate had reappeared to warn her about Chase, and things now seem to improve for her. Tate persuaded her to let him send some of her nature pictures to a publisher, who was enthusiastic; and for the first time she had a fair amount of money and was able to modernize her shack.
She showed her gratitude to Tate, of course; but the hurt he had caused her meant that she could still not trust him; and often she hid when she saw him rowing in the marsh.
All seems to be going well – but all this while we have had chapters about how the sheriff and his deputy have been looking for clues who might have killed Chase. Though Kya seems to have an alibi for the night Chase died, the clues seem to point towards Kya, and in 1969 she was charged with his murder. We are about two-thirds through the book.
I must not reveal what happened from then onwards, except to say that at the very end, after Kya has died in 2010 at the age of 64, we learn two astonishing things about her.
Some of the few negative reviews of this book have said that in many ways it is hard to believe in it – and I agree. But if you can suspend your occasional disbelief, this is a quite wonderful, beautiful and moving book.
It tells the tale of a seven year old girl who lives with her family in a tumble down property, situated in marshland. Father is a drunk and is violent towards his wife and children until one by one they all leave. Kya is alone and has to survive. Her story is magical, scarey, gentle, violent and presses all emotional buttons for loads of different reasons. She becomes at one with the birds and learns how to dodge school authorities. She explores the creeks on her small boat and finds a friend in Tate, a young man from the small town. He teaches her to read and write and agently and slowly a love affair emerges. However he leaves for university and Chase begins to call. Not quite so kind.
This sounds so ordinary when I read it through, but in fact it is the most wonderful manuscript. Incredibly well written! Unputdownable, for sure! Magnetic with the sea, sky and call of the birds. The author portrays the magical atmosphere of the times so beautifully, even through a murder trial. This is one novel I shall be sure to read over again. Superb.