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Where the Crawdads Sing

by Delia Owens

Debut Books of the Month Family Drama Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Relationship Stories Star Books Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading View on Where the Crawdads Sing

Crossing genres in style, this just has to be one of my favourite novels of the year. Set in the marshlands of North Carolina, the majority of this story takes place in the 1950’s and 60’s. The prologue begins in 1969 with the body of Chase Andrews being found in the marsh. The first paragraph of the prologue introduces surprising beauty, the marsh simply sings, it settled into my mind and became a part of me. The central character is Kya, we meet her as a child, and the truth of her life is immediately apparent. As the novel moves backwards and forwards in time, Kya emerges as the Marsh Girl, and suspicion begins to hound her after the body is found. Author Delia Owens is a wildlife scientist who has worked in Africa and written non-fiction, this is her debut novel. Descriptions entered my mind in wafting movement, I fell in love with the marsh and the girl who lived there. Where the Crawdads Sing is truly touching, almost hauntingly beautiful, and opens a doorway to a different world. It has been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book and a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month.

Liz Robinson

Where the Crawdads Sing Synopsis

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 Celeste Ng, 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.

Where the Crawdads Sing Press Reviews

A story that's evocative and sad and with a remarkable heroine - Image magazine

This is a heart-wrenching coming-of-age story, perfect for book clubs - Candis

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

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

A nature-infused romance with a killer twist - Refinery29

This lush mystery is perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver - Bustle

Unsettling and tinged with sadness, yet astonishingly fresh, powerful and mesmerising - with a surprising ending that will haunt you. I couldn't put it down - The Lady

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

The strength of the story comes from the sympathetic portrait of its heroine who cannot fail to captivate, right up until the surprising end - UK Press Association and Independent I

Unsettling and tinged with sadness, yet astonishingly fresh, powerful and mesmerising - with a surprising ending that will haunt you. I couldn't put it down - The Lady

An Amazon Best Book of August 2018: This novel has a mystery at its core, but it can be read on a variety of levels. There is great nature writing; there is coming of age; and there is literature. Crawdads is a story lovingly told-one that takes its time in developing its characters and setting, and in developing the story. You'll want to relax and take your time as well, and when you're done you will want to talk about it with another reader. - Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review

For sheer escapism pick up Where The Crawdads Sing . . . there is writing that takes your breath away - The Times (separate review)

Owens combines high tension with precise detail about how people dress, sound, live and eat - the case studies in her book are both human and natural . . . Surprise bestsellers are often works that chime with the times. Though set in the 1950s and 60s, Where the Crawdads Sing is, in its treatment of racial and social division and the fragile complexities of nature, obviously relevant to contemporary politics and ecology. But these themes will reach a huge audience though the writer's old-fashioned talents for compelling character, plotting and landscape description - the Guardian

Kya is a compelling character, Owen's descriptive prose is lushly impressive, and the twist in the narrative's tail is neat - Sunday Times Culture

For a debut the prose is impressively accomplished . . . A Hollywood film seems inevitable. Yet it will be hard to match on screen the delicacy of Owens's exploration of the natural world. Kya and her magical little world are a rare achievement - The Times

Part murder-mystery, part coming-of-age novel, its evocation of the marshland and its inhabitants is as unforgettable as Kya herself. A story of loneliness, survival and love that's as engrossing as it is moving - Daily Mail

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 - New York Times Book Review

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781472154668
Publication date: 12/12/2019
Publisher: Corsair an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781472154644
Publication date: 17/01/2019
Publisher: Corsair
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781472154668
Publication date: 12th December 2019
Author: Delia Owens
Publisher: Corsair an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 384 pages
Genres: Debuts of the Month, Family Drama, Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories, Star Books, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Thriller / suspense,

About Delia Owens

Delia Owens (born ca. 1949) is an American author and zoologist. Her debut novel Where the Crawdads Sing topped The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2019 for several weeks. She also has written memoirs, Cry of the Kalahari, The Eye of the Elephant, and Secrets of the Savanna, with her then-husband, Mark, about their time studying animals in Africa.  She currently lives in Idaho. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.  

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