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Where the Crawdads Sing Hardcover – August 14, 2018
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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
- Lexile measure : 880L
- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0735219095
- ISBN-13 : 978-0735219090
- Dimensions : 6.35 x 1.42 x 9.24 inches
- Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons; Later Printing edition (August 14, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #71 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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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 reviews from other countries
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!