Where the Crawdads Sing
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.

Where the Crawdads Sing Details

TitleWhere the Crawdads Sing
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 14th, 2018
PublisherG.P. Putnam’s Sons
Rating
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Mystery, American, Southern

Where the Crawdads Sing Review

  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars rounded up .A story of survival, of what the depth of loneliness feels like when a young girl is abandoned first by her mother, then her four siblings. Even at five Kya understands why they left - because of her father, because of his meanness, his abuse, his drinking. What she doesn’t understand is why they left her behind and neither could I. She remains pretty much alone since her father comes and goes until he doesn’t come back. It was gutting as she sits on the beach with the gull 4.5 stars rounded up .A story of survival, of what the depth of loneliness feels like when a young girl is abandoned first by her mother, then her four siblings. Even at five Kya understands why they left - because of her father, because of his meanness, his abuse, his drinking. What she doesn’t understand is why they left her behind and neither could I. She remains pretty much alone since her father comes and goes until he doesn’t come back. It was gutting as she sits on the beach with the gulls not wanting them to fly away and leave her too. Heartbreaking how she is neglected and abandoned, remembering the beatings, trying to figure out a way to eat. Atmospheric is an understatement, and I don’t use that word often because it seems overused sometimes but this place, the marsh permeates just about everything that is meaningful in this story beginning with Kya’s realization “And the marsh became her mother.” The marsh becomes her life, her livelihood, the essence of who she becomes through her self learned expertise of the insects and the birds, her art. But is it enough to heal her? The kind hearts of Jumpin’ and Mabel who help a little girl alone and in need, the only human contact she has until her brother’s friend Tate comes into her life, but is that enough to help her heal ? I love the writing, fabulous descriptions of the marsh. The marsh and its inhabitants, the insects, the fish, the birds which pique Kya’s curiosity, give her so much joy and company, and allow her to become the expert she does become on the marsh and marsh life. But is that enough to make Kya whole after so much hurt and loneliness?There’s a murder mystery, not my usual fare, but I was totally engaged, trying to come up with who the murderer was, totally engaged in the courtroom scenes. I gave it 4.5 stars because there were a couple of things that felt not quite realistic. But when I woke up thinking about this story, I knew I would round it up to 5 stars . I don’t often cry over books, but this one definitely brought me to tears at a number of places. Overall it was such a fabulous read, heartbreaking in so many ways, with wonderful writing and characters, a stunning portrait of a place, of the trauma of loss and loneliness. My heart was always broken for Kya, a character to remember. An unforgettable ending. This was a monthly read with Esil and Diane and as always I appreciate their thoughts as we read together. In this case, we have very similar feelings about this beautiful story.I received an advanced copy of this book from G.P. Putnam’s Sons through Edelweiss.
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    MEMORABLE CHARACTERS AND MEMORABLE STORY. For me to rate a book five stars it has to give me something bout of the ordinary, make me feel. Most of all it has to be a book or contain a character or characters that I won't forget. Above all it has to make me feel. This book did all three. Kya, aka Catherine Clark, the Marsh girl is an unforgettable character, abandoned by her mother at she six, her siblings shortly after. By ten she was alone in the Marsh raising herself, her main source of comfor MEMORABLE CHARACTERS AND MEMORABLE STORY. For me to rate a book five stars it has to give me something bout of the ordinary, make me feel. Most of all it has to be a book or contain a character or characters that I won't forget. Above all it has to make me feel. This book did all three. Kya, aka Catherine Clark, the Marsh girl is an unforgettable character, abandoned by her mother at she six, her siblings shortly after. By ten she was alone in the Marsh raising herself, her main source of comfort the natural life found in the North Carolina Marsh, the gulls she fed daily. She learned not to trust nor depend on anyone but herself. She was smart, curious, feArless and so lonely. As if this character wasn't enough to remember, there are also some supporting characters that play an integral part in her life. Jumpin and Mabel, a black couple that try to help Kya in whatever way she will accept. Tate, who has known her since she was small, teaches her to read anc much more. What will one do in the face of such loneliness? How much will they sacrifice if they reach out, trust? Prejudice is a big theme, because as the Marsh girl she is considered illiterate, unclean, and none in the village reach out to help. There is of course a villian, who claims to love her, but marries another, breaking her heart . This is there another thread comes in, a story told in alternate chapters, as when he is murdered , she is accused. Also where another wonderful character comes in, a man, 74 years old, a retired lawyer who comes out of retirement to defend her against a town that already assumes she is guilty.I could nitpick a few things, but I won't. I loved and learned much about the natural world, a different way of looking at things. On walks I take along the river I will look at things I ordinarily wouldn't. A survival story, what Kya has to do it not easy, but since she has little choice it is what she does. Making the most of what one has, regardless of how little. More than one I had tears running down my face, so this gets five, big marshmallow stars from this reader.This was mine, Angela and Esils August read, and as always our reads and discussions are something in which I look forward.ARC from Edelweiss.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    5 trilling stars to Where the Crawdads Sing! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 I am super excited to share this review with you because the book is on my favorites list for this year. The writing is lovely, and the storytelling is brilliant.Barclay Cove is a quiet place along the North Carolina coast. I tried to imagine this setting and time period, as someone familiar with the area, and I could not quite fit where it was in reality; however, using the author’s extraordinary gift for description without being overly fl 5 trilling stars to Where the Crawdads Sing! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 I am super excited to share this review with you because the book is on my favorites list for this year. The writing is lovely, and the storytelling is brilliant.Barclay Cove is a quiet place along the North Carolina coast. I tried to imagine this setting and time period, as someone familiar with the area, and I could not quite fit where it was in reality; however, using the author’s extraordinary gift for description without being overly flowery, in my imagination, I can perfectly picture the mysterious marsh. The book begins with the story of Kya, a young girl whose mother walks out on the family, leaving the children to fend for themselves with an alcoholic father who is absent most of the time. Not to mention the fact that they live in the inhospitable marsh as squatters (there are, indeed, small settlements on the North Carolina coast today that were founded my “squatters”). Kya’s siblings are older, and they flee, leaving her alone with her father. She learns to care for herself at a young age because she has to. Kya is uneducated by choice and circumstance, though the town attempted to get her to attend at first. Even without schooling, she is sharp and caring, as she learns the ways of life through the marsh and all it has to teach her. For years, Kya lives this way and is known as the “Marsh Girl” by the townies. When a young man of the same age is found dead, everyone in town assumes it must have been Kya, and fingers are pointed. She has been involved with two young men who were entranced with her, but was Kya involved in the death of Chase Andrews? Where the Crawdads Sing is a glorious and equally somber coming of age story for Kya. Though she was called to a different life from the one she has always known, how much will her upbringing continue to control who she is? The writing is exquisite, the setting atmospheric on a grand scale, and Kya is a strong and unforgettable character I wanted to hug. Overall, I simply adored this book. I was immersed completely in Kya’s vibrant world, and my heart ached at every turn. The ending is memorable, and the messages are strong. Beautiful nature and a captivating story. Thank you to G.P. Putnam’s Sons for the ARC. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Dorie
    January 1, 1970
    Oh how beautifully mesmerizing this book is. I’ve moved this book to the #1 spot in my list of favorite books of 2018. Thanks to my Goodreads friends Angela and Diane for bringing this book to my attention :)This 5* book is masterfully written, with outstanding character development. That alone would be a great book but there is much more. There is a love story and mystery woven through the story, and add art and poetry to that and you have this incredible book. Well as to the plot I will give y Oh how beautifully mesmerizing this book is. I’ve moved this book to the #1 spot in my list of favorite books of 2018. Thanks to my Goodreads friends Angela and Diane for bringing this book to my attention :)This 5* book is masterfully written, with outstanding character development. That alone would be a great book but there is much more. There is a love story and mystery woven through the story, and add art and poetry to that and you have this incredible book. Well as to the plot I will give you a little information on that, although you’ve all probably read the book blurb. At the beginning of the story we are introduced to Kya, a 6 year old little girl who has already been traumatized for life. Her mother leaves her father and the five children and never returns. Then slowly throughout some years her older siblings leave and then finally her brother whom she was very close to and her drunken father. They leave her completely alone in their falling down shack, no provisions and barely any clothing. She was only 14, she was completely alone and had no idea how to survive, but somehow she does. She has an incredible will and she loves the marsh, it’s the only home she’s known. She learns to fish, cook and clean just by remembering how it used to be. Barkley Cove, where she goes for groceries and gas has a store that is run by an extremely kind and generous couple who have lived on the marsh their entire life. She exchanges mussels and then smoked fish for gas for her motor and a few groceries. Mabel gives her used books, shoes, anything that she can get donated. They were her only friends.Kya has two real love relationships in the book. Tate she has known all of her life but now that she is older she views him differently, she begins to feel real love. He teaches her how to read which opens up the world to her. He is in her life for quite a few years and she seems happy, her life is good. She loves the marsh and all that inhabit it. She collects many things and categorizes them. From the books Tate brings her she learns biology, math, how things grow and change and she is fascinated by the marsh. The author describes the marshland so well I felt myself transported there, felt the humid air, the squashing feel when I walked and encountering all of the creatures described in this book.It’s incredible to think that this could happen but I really think there are those people who live in the marsh. Quoting from the book “this infamous marsh became a net, scooping up a mishmash of mutinous sailors, castaways, debtors, and fugitives dodging wars, taxes or laws that they didn’t take to. The ones malaria didn’t kill or the swamp didn’t swallow bred into a woodsmen tribe of several races and multiple cultures. .. . . . .two hundred years later, they were joined by runaway slaves, who escaped into the marsh and were called maroons, and freed slaves, penniless and beleaguered, who dispersed into the water-land because of scant options."After being disappointed in her relationship with Tate she finally decides that perhaps she could be more trusting. She shares things with Chase, a boy from town who tells her he loves her, talks about a future. But everyone always leaves Kya.Then one especially happy day for Kya, she had met with the publishers of her books, two at this time, but gets an awful message from Jumpin’ upon her return, Chase is dead. The sheriff is looking for Kya and there are rumors in town that perhaps Chase’s death was not an accident.Oh my gosh this review is too long and there is so much more to say. I don’t want to spoil any portion of this gorgeous read. There is beautiful poetry and paintings that I felt I could see. Read this book, you will be wonderfully surprised, entranced and feel great about a book again. Read Kya’s story, she will stay with you a very long time.I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and Edelweiss.
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  • Book of Secrets
    January 1, 1970
    Here we have it, my favorite book of 2018! I think this one will be hard to top. Amazing!!A swamp and a marsh are very different environments. A marsh is a thriving and nurturing place, and it's there, along the North Carolina coast, that Kya lived and survived after being abandoned by her family as a young girl. Kya spent her days alone, observing the surrounding natural world, and it served her well. Though she loved her marsh dearly, sometimes the loneliness was too much, especially as she gr Here we have it, my favorite book of 2018! I think this one will be hard to top. Amazing!!A swamp and a marsh are very different environments. A marsh is a thriving and nurturing place, and it's there, along the North Carolina coast, that Kya lived and survived after being abandoned by her family as a young girl. Kya spent her days alone, observing the surrounding natural world, and it served her well. Though she loved her marsh dearly, sometimes the loneliness was too much, especially as she grew into a young women. But after being abandoned by everyone she loved and shunned by the locals, who could she trust with her heart?I don't want to ramble on too much about the plot. This stirring, character-driven novel is part coming of age story, part mystery, and part love story — between Kya and two young men who she allows in her hidden world, but most of all, between Kya and her treasured marsh. WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING is a gorgeously written and haunting novel with an unforgettable heroine, the Marsh Girl. What a bittersweet ending!! Tears, tears, tears. Just lovely. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read Program in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    This is an amazing first novel by this author!In the marsh land, near the North Carolina coast, the youngest child of a big, poor family is first left by her mother, her brother and later her father...she is such a little girl and left to fend for herself.... so heartbreaking!This story lets us follow her entire life, a life that is mostly very lonely.Part coming of age story, part love story, part mystery...these characters will really pull you in!I just loved it!!Thank you to Netgalley and G.P This is an amazing first novel by this author!In the marsh land, near the North Carolina coast, the youngest child of a big, poor family is first left by her mother, her brother and later her father...she is such a little girl and left to fend for herself.... so heartbreaking!This story lets us follow her entire life, a life that is mostly very lonely.Part coming of age story, part love story, part mystery...these characters will really pull you in!I just loved it!!Thank you to Netgalley and G.P. Putnam’s Sons for the digital copy!
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  • *TUDOR^QUEEN*
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Penguin Publishing Group who provided an advance reader copy via Edelweiss.This is a very special book about a girl named Catherine Danielle Clark (known as Kya) who lived in a shack in the Marsh lands of North Carolina. The story begins in 1952 when at the tender age of six, Kya's mom walked out of her life, never turning her head back to wave goodbye. As the days passed, her older siblings gradually left as well, leaving Kya alone to deal with her volatile father. Pa would leave t Thank you to Penguin Publishing Group who provided an advance reader copy via Edelweiss.This is a very special book about a girl named Catherine Danielle Clark (known as Kya) who lived in a shack in the Marsh lands of North Carolina. The story begins in 1952 when at the tender age of six, Kya's mom walked out of her life, never turning her head back to wave goodbye. As the days passed, her older siblings gradually left as well, leaving Kya alone to deal with her volatile father. Pa would leave the shack for days on end, then suddenly reappear without warning. Eventually, even he left for good. This left fourteen year old Kya to fend for herself. However, this very clever and resourceful girl drew upon memories of watching Mom cook and clean, and navigating the motor boat with her Dad. When Kya's Dad was still at home and she could spend a little money, a barefoot Kya roamed the aisles of the local Piggly Wiggly market to buy grits. However, once Dad abandoned her, Kya's survival instincts kicked in. Remembering a skill Mom taught her, Kya collected mussels when the tide was low. Filling two large bags, she boated to Jumpin's Gas and Bait to barter her first deal of mussels in exchange for money and gas (for the motor boat). Compassionate to the little girl's plight, Jumpin' and his wife Mabel donated care packages of clothing and other necessities as needed. Besides these friendships, Kya's only other friends were the treasured birds and animals of the Marsh. That is, until she met Tate. Tate was out boating at the same time as Kya when she lost direction. Tate kindly directed Kya home, and this was the first dawning of their relationship. Over time, they shared their love of nature (such as collecting various bird feathers) and he even taught Kya to read. Kya was known as "The Marsh Girl", a mysterious and undesirable being to be avoided. She only spent one day in school after being treated as an outcast. Used to being abandoned and now comfortable in her self-imposed isolation, Kya set about painting in watercolors marsh lifeforms, such as mushrooms, seabirds and grasses. Now that she could read, she could both document and illustrate her love of nature. This story also revolves around a possible murder, that of Chase Andrews. His body was discovered by two boys in 1969, and the mystery of his death and his involvement with Kya is a slowly unfolding drama in the book. Through alternating time periods, Kya's life and the truth of Chase Andrews' death weave an atmospheric, poignant and totally engaging story. Many thanks to my Goodreads friend Dorie whose beautiful review directed me to this fine book.
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    ” Dark and silent, late last night,I think I might have heard the highway callAnd geese in flight and dogs that biteThe signs that might be omens sayI'm goin', I'm goin'I'm gone to Carolina in my mind“With a holy host of others standin' around meStill I'm on the dark side of the moonAnd it seems like it goes on like this foreverYou must forgive me, if I'm up and gone toCarolina in my mind” -- Carolina In My Mind, James Taylor, Songwriters: James Taylor ”The morning burned so August-hot, the mars ” Dark and silent, late last night,I think I might have heard the highway callAnd geese in flight and dogs that biteThe signs that might be omens sayI'm goin', I'm goin'I'm gone to Carolina in my mind“With a holy host of others standin' around meStill I'm on the dark side of the moonAnd it seems like it goes on like this foreverYou must forgive me, if I'm up and gone toCarolina in my mind” -- Carolina In My Mind, James Taylor, Songwriters: James Taylor ”The morning burned so August-hot, the marsh’s moist breath hung the oaks and pines with fog.” Kya was only six years old on the day that she heard the screen door slap shut while she was scrubbing the grits out of the pot, and wondered who was leaving their shack. It couldn’t be her mother, her mother would have quietly closed the door, not let it slam shut on its own. She runs to the porch and sees her Ma in her long skirt and fake alligator high heels walking down the lane, carrying her train case. When she got to the end of the lane, she didn’t even turn to wave. Kya was the youngest, with Jodie being the closest in age to her, and three older siblings, Murph, Missy and Mandy. And Pa. But it isn’t long before the three oldest disappeared, almost old enough to make their own way in the world, and tired of Pa’s rages, the marks left on their bodies and their hearts. And then Jodie tells Kya that he has to leave, that he can’t live there, can’t take one more day of it. And Kya is left alone, more or less, with her Pa. A man who wanders off, not beholden to anyone to let them know when or if he will return, and when he does return he is almost always drunk.Barkley Cove, the town they live closest to eventually becomes determined that Kya should attend school, and so she is made to go, is escorted to the school, where the other children taunt her, tease her, and she never returns. Kya is branded, they called her the Marsh Girl, a label meant to mark her an outcast, but Kya is happier without them. She finds her family and friends in the gulls, and the shells she collects. She is sensitive to the lessons she learns from the waters and the land, the birds that come morning and night to be fed, trusting that she will always be there to feed them. Where this book excels is in the descriptions of her surroundings, there are so many moments in this story where the picture she paints is so beautifully true to this part of North Carolina’s coast, and most likely even more true in the 1950s. For me, the story felt as if it became a little bit bogged down in the last half of the book, where a mystery is being solved / resolved.A lovely reflection of the beauty that surrounds us in nature, in the still natural places in this world that man has not conquered or spoiled, and the nature within a young girl, a lyrical coming of age tale that feels as wild and promising as Kya’s world. Pub Date: 14 AUG 2018Many thanks for the ARC provided by PENGUIN GROUP Putnam, G.P. Putnam’s Sons
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  • Dem
    January 1, 1970
    The beauty of this book is in the descriptive writing which takes you on a journey through the Marshy Swamps of North Carolina. The character of Kyla Clarke abandoned and rejected by her family near stole my heart and this is a character that will stay with me for quite some time.This is beautiful quiet novel, set in Berkeley Cove a small town on the North Carolina coast, elegant with that southern charm that draws you in, suspensful and unique plot and just a good back to basic mystery that is The beauty of this book is in the descriptive writing which takes you on a journey through the Marshy Swamps of North Carolina. The character of Kyla Clarke abandoned and rejected by her family near stole my heart and this is a character that will stay with me for quite some time.This is beautiful quiet novel, set in Berkeley Cove a small town on the North Carolina coast, elegant with that southern charm that draws you in, suspensful and unique plot and just a good back to basic mystery that is charming and a real page turner.I listened to this novel on audio and what a treat to enjoy those Southern accents which really added to the enjoyment of this novel. I had reason to stop over for one night a few weeks ago in Charlotte North Carlolina and how I wish I had been able to spend a week here and explore this state and after reading this book I really want to book a flight and enjoy that southern charm.I learned so much about the marsh and its wildlife in this novel and lovers of nature and the outdoors are going to really enjoy this one.Another great and unique read and feel like I am on a winning streak with all the great books I have read this summer. Here's hoping Autumm reading can compete with what great entertainment summer has produced
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    Pretty close to the beginning I felt an emotional attachment to the main character, Kya Clark aka Marsh Girl. It was hard not to given her mother left when she was a little girl, followed by her siblings and her father basically left her to fend for herself. I couldn't help but want to give the poor girl a hug. The author does an amazing job of painting a picture of the North Carolina marsh area where Kya lives. The story switches back and forth between Kya growing up in the 1950s and the late 1 Pretty close to the beginning I felt an emotional attachment to the main character, Kya Clark aka Marsh Girl. It was hard not to given her mother left when she was a little girl, followed by her siblings and her father basically left her to fend for herself. I couldn't help but want to give the poor girl a hug. The author does an amazing job of painting a picture of the North Carolina marsh area where Kya lives. The story switches back and forth between Kya growing up in the 1950s and the late 1960s when a man is found dead. The mystery of whether the man was murdered or not wasn't really the highlight of the book as I much preferred watching Kay grow as a character. I'd definitely recommend this book if you are looking for a novel with good character development and an emotional reading experience. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.
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  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ “I wadn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.” I cannot imagine a book that will end up beating Where the Crawdads Sing for my best read of 2018. Truly, this was a case where the entire thing was practically perfect in every way for me (the only minor quibble I had was with the snippets of poetry, but that’s because I hate poetry). Due to the fact that I am so absolutely strung out and hun Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ “I wadn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.” I cannot imagine a book that will end up beating Where the Crawdads Sing for my best read of 2018. Truly, this was a case where the entire thing was practically perfect in every way for me (the only minor quibble I had was with the snippets of poetry, but that’s because I hate poetry). Due to the fact that I am so absolutely strung out and hungover from this book, I’m going to do words even less well than I usually do. The story here starts in 1969 with a dead body – and then it immediately timehops back to 1952. It’s there you meet Kya on the day her mother has decided to up and leave the family and the marsh behind. Kya’s siblings follow their mother’s footsteps in short order – as does her father eventually. It’s then that Kya becomes known as “the Marsh Girl” and the reader works their way back to finding out what exactly happened to that dead fella. This was a true genre bender that had something for nearly everyone – coming of age, family strife, first love, first loss, and dare I forget – a potential murder. It was a modern day To Kill A Mockingbird and I feel so honored to have been approved for an advanced copy.If you’re looking for an epic tale that spans over five decades, look no further than . . . . “Way out yonder, where the crawdads sing.” All the Stars there are to Star.ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest (*cough blubbering cough*) review. Thank you, NetGalley!
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  • Esil
    January 1, 1970
    A high 4 starsWhere the Crawdads Sing was beautiful, sad and somewhat joyful. Set in the 1950s and 1960s in the marshlands of North Carolina, the story focuses on Kya, who at age 6 is essentially abandoned in a shack by her whole family. Somehow, with very little help, she manages to raise herself, surviving on her love for and deep understanding of the natural world. In parallel, the story focuses on a murder that takes place in 1969. Slowly, Kya’s life and the unsolved murder come together. Th A high 4 starsWhere the Crawdads Sing was beautiful, sad and somewhat joyful. Set in the 1950s and 1960s in the marshlands of North Carolina, the story focuses on Kya, who at age 6 is essentially abandoned in a shack by her whole family. Somehow, with very little help, she manages to raise herself, surviving on her love for and deep understanding of the natural world. In parallel, the story focuses on a murder that takes place in 1969. Slowly, Kya’s life and the unsolved murder come together. There was a lot I loved about this book. The natural setting and the author’s love of nature are potent and palpable. The author does a fabulous job dealing with the consequences of abandonment and loneliness. The author also does a good job of conveying a sense of the times, and the effects of racism and economic inequality. It’s hard to read this one without crying, but in the end it felt like a story about resilience more than about desperation. My only criticism is that there were two or three events that were too improbable, overstretching my ability to suspend disbelief. Otherwise, this was a great read. I read it with my reading buddies Angela and Diane, and as always am grateful for these monthly reads. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for giving me access to an advance copy.
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  • Faith
    January 1, 1970
    Where the crawdads sing is the place "far in the bush where critters are wild, still behaving like critters". That is where Catherine Danielle (Kya) Clark lived all of her life. Her father brought the family to the marshland 4 miles from Barkley Cove, North Carolina after he was wounded in WWII. He was bitter, depressed, reclusive and mean. Finally, Kya's mother couldn't take it any more and in 1952 when Kya was 6 her mother left and never returned. One by one Kya's 4 older siblings also fled th Where the crawdads sing is the place "far in the bush where critters are wild, still behaving like critters". That is where Catherine Danielle (Kya) Clark lived all of her life. Her father brought the family to the marshland 4 miles from Barkley Cove, North Carolina after he was wounded in WWII. He was bitter, depressed, reclusive and mean. Finally, Kya's mother couldn't take it any more and in 1952 when Kya was 6 her mother left and never returned. One by one Kya's 4 older siblings also fled their abusive father, and none thought to take Kya along with them. So Kya learned to survive on her own in the marsh, keeping away from her drunken father for the most part, until suddenly he was gone too. Amazingly, no family or church tried to help this child. She was the Marsh Girl, too different to associate with the polite society of Barkley Cove. She grows up in isolation and is profoundly scarred by her abandonment and solitude. The only people who helped to keep her fed and clothed, and advised her, were a black family who were also not accepted by Barkley Cove. There was one boy who befriended her, Tate Walker who charmingly approached her with gifts of feathers. Later there was another boy, Chase Andrews, and when he was found dead in 1969 Kya was suspected of his murder. Kya was mesmerized by the natural world that was her home and this book beautifully describes that world. She was very intelligent and self taught and she knew the marsh as a scientist would. However, her knowledge was much deeper because she became as much a part of the marsh as the fireflies, seagulls, shells and grasses that she studied. The author is a scientist, and it shows, but she is also an excellent novelist. Near the end of the book it becomes a really compelling courtroom drama. I was invested in its outcome and had no idea how it would (or should) turn out. Kya has depths that not only the residents of Barkley Cove but the readers cannot guess. I'd be happy to read more by this author. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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  • Bam
    January 1, 1970
    In the spring of 1952, a woman walks away from her home in the marshes of coastal North Carolina, never looking back, leaving her five children behind with their drunken father, who has just two settings: silent and loud. Soon the three oldest children slither away too, then thirteen-year-old Jodie, the youngest son, decides to go, leaving six-year-old Kya to fend for herself and her PA. She has to wonder what has she done to send everyone away? Needing people only ends in hurt. Seventeen years In the spring of 1952, a woman walks away from her home in the marshes of coastal North Carolina, never looking back, leaving her five children behind with their drunken father, who has just two settings: silent and loud. Soon the three oldest children slither away too, then thirteen-year-old Jodie, the youngest son, decides to go, leaving six-year-old Kya to fend for herself and her PA. She has to wonder what has she done to send everyone away? Needing people only ends in hurt. Seventeen years later, the body of the popular and handsome Chase Andrews, former high school star quarterback, is found dead at the base of a fire tower. Foul play is suspected and the story of the murder investigation is interspersed with Kya's coming of age story. Kya grows up wild in those marshes, hiding from strangers, avoiding the truant officer and by the age of ten, she is entirely on her own. The people in the small town of Barkley Cove shun her, calling her Marsh Girl. Her savior is the old black man Jumpin', who buys mussels from her so she can afford groceries, gas and supplies from his general store while his wife brings her hand-me-down clothes. Kya grows into a beautiful young woman and soon attracts the attention of a couple of young men. One teaches her to read and brings her books, but the other just wants to use and abuse her--both betray her and break her heart. "From somewhere very deep, she made herself a promise never to trust or love anyone again."Kya is an unforgettable character, broken yet strong, beautiful and wild but multi-faceted and talented. I guarantee her story will break your heart. As always with books set in North Carolina, the land itself plays a major role in this story. Kya loves every inch of it and every critter in it. The story is beautifully written, sprinkled with touching poems throughout. So what does that title mean: where the crawdads sing? "Just means far in the bush where the critters are wild, still behaving like critters."Highly recommend this book! I've added it to my list of other favorites set in North Carolina, including Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel; Redemption Road by John Hart; and If the Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss. I am so pleased that author Delia Owens frequently refers to Aldo Leopold's classic A Sand County Almanac throughout the book as one that inspires Kya--another favorite.I received an arc of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for my honest review. Sincere thanks!
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  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Moving between the 1950's and late 1960's, Delia Owens spins the tales of a sensitive young girl left alone to fend for herself in the marshland of coastal North Carolina and the death of local golden boy Chase Andrews until they intertwine.Six year old Kya Clark heard her mother leave the shack at the edge of the marsh.  She watched as she walked away in her fake alligator shoes, train case in hand and failed to turn at the end of the lane to wave.  Kya doesn't understand how a mama could leave Moving between the 1950's and late 1960's, Delia Owens spins the tales of a sensitive young girl left alone to fend for herself in the marshland of coastal North Carolina and the death of local golden boy Chase Andrews until they intertwine.Six year old Kya Clark heard her mother leave the shack at the edge of the marsh.  She watched as she walked away in her fake alligator shoes, train case in hand and failed to turn at the end of the lane to wave.  Kya doesn't understand how a mama could leave her five children behind.Left with an abusive father too fond of liquor, the children leave one by one, until only Kya is left.  The small town of Barkley Cove looks down their noses at the poor folks who live in the marsh and call them trash.  Kya spends her childhood dodging truancy officers and surviving on the kindness of strangers and her own wits, becoming a local legend folks call the Marsh Girl.Kya shies away from human interaction yet yearns for love, believing she's destined for nothing more than loneliness and heartbreak.  She spends her life ostracized by a community never willing to give her a chance until two young men fall for her:  Tate falls for her innocence and intelligence and Chase falls for her mysterious beauty.When Chase is found dead at the bottom of the fire tower with no footprints or tire tracks nearby, the Sheriff suspects foul play.  He soon finds out that the necklace Chase always wore was from the Marsh Girl and it wasn't found on his body.  The town has always been suspicious of the Marsh Girl, out there all alone in her shack.  It isn't long before they all suspect that she pushed Chase Andrews off that fire tower, the act of a woman scorned.  Kya has always been persecuted, the people in town want to act as judge and jury in her trial where she faces the very real possibility of the death penalty.The coming of age story of a misunderstood girl aching for love and acceptance and the prejudice of a small town, Delia Owens fills this story with the wonders of the natural world and how a young woman finds her home in nature rather than the community unwilling to embrace her.There's a little something for everyone in Where the Crawdads Sing:  historical fiction, Southern culture and dialect, romance, murder, courtroom drama, and science/nature.Thanks to Penguin Random House/Putnam and the First to Read program for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.For more full reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. At a young age, Kya Clark is abandoned by her family and left to fend for herself. Growing up alone and very lonely, she is befriended by Tate who simply wants to be her friend and Chase who has more sinister things in mind.Very excellent read. I could feel Kya's loneliness and despair throughout the story. The ending was absolutely perfect. A must read. 4.25 stars
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    An ode to nature at its finest written with all the elements of fine southern literature. Beautiful prose,unforgettable characters—some flawed,some heroes,some you want to wrap your arms about in protection, -and a haunting setting in the marshes of coastal North Carolina. Add a mystery that trails through the book like a kudzu vine . But I believe the thing that sets this book apart is being able to see the world and all of its wonders of nature through Kya’s eyes and her heart. What a lovely i An ode to nature at its finest written with all the elements of fine southern literature. Beautiful prose,unforgettable characters—some flawed,some heroes,some you want to wrap your arms about in protection, -and a haunting setting in the marshes of coastal North Carolina. Add a mystery that trails through the book like a kudzu vine . But I believe the thing that sets this book apart is being able to see the world and all of its wonders of nature through Kya’s eyes and her heart. What a lovely inspiration! I left this book with pebbles of knowledge in my pockets and the desire to read more about the everyday world about me. What a gift to receive! Thank you Ms.Owens!
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  • Melissa Crytzer Fry
    January 1, 1970
    I was fascinated by this book when I first learned about author Delia Owens’s background studying wildlife in Africa, and her awards as a nature writer. I was in the mood for a book lush in setting and critters and love of the earth. I had hoped this book would fill that need. When the introduction discussed the roots of this story – involving a personal experience with a female baboon – I knew I was off to a good start. (Don’t stop reading if you’re not interested in baboons; this book has noth I was fascinated by this book when I first learned about author Delia Owens’s background studying wildlife in Africa, and her awards as a nature writer. I was in the mood for a book lush in setting and critters and love of the earth. I had hoped this book would fill that need. When the introduction discussed the roots of this story – involving a personal experience with a female baboon – I knew I was off to a good start. (Don’t stop reading if you’re not interested in baboons; this book has nothing to do with them directly!)Indeed, that first chapter sucked me right into the glowing, wildlife-filled marshes and the blackened, fetid swamps of North Carolina. And I fell in love with the young protagonist, Kya. Not generally a fan of younger narrators or coming-of-age stories, that did not stop me from being fascinated and in awe of Kya’s survival skills and her tie to the marsh and its inhabitants.The author’s background in science is evident in the book, but not heavy-handed. She blends insight about coastal marsh mammals, fish, birds and various flora, with biological reproductive facts and behaviors, weaving them effortlessly into the story and drawing parallels to human behavior. I learned fascinating information about lightning bugs and praying mantises that I did not know previously, and they were a perfect thematic fit that illustrated Kya’s intense love of the marsh.The language is often downright gorgeous and sensory in this book that includes themes of nature, motherhood, love, bonding, betrayal, family, prejudice, and murder. This book also includes art and poetry (though, for me, the insertion of the poetry sometimes felt like it broke the flow of the narrative).This novel is almost a two-for-one in that it is not only truly a character-driven story of emotion and betrayal, but also a murder mystery. Naturally, given my reading tastes (which don’t include mysteries), I was drawn more to the emotional side of the story. And I feel it is here where the author excels -- with the more literary aspects of the book. Even so, I think mystery readers will find the book quite rewarding. Thank you to Goodreads First Reads program and Penguin Random House/Putnam for the chance to read an ARC of this book before release. I look forward to this author’s future work.
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  • Darinda
    January 1, 1970
    Kya ia a little girl when family members start to leave her. As a result, she ends up growing up alone in the family’s shack in the marsh. The local townspeople think her to be wild and dangerous, but a few see the shy, lonely girl she is. As she gets older, boys start to take notice. One boy in particular captures her heart, but soon another young man enters the picture. When the young man is found dead, the townspeople suspect Kya is guilty of murder.An amazing story about a girl growing up in Kya ia a little girl when family members start to leave her. As a result, she ends up growing up alone in the family’s shack in the marsh. The local townspeople think her to be wild and dangerous, but a few see the shy, lonely girl she is. As she gets older, boys start to take notice. One boy in particular captures her heart, but soon another young man enters the picture. When the young man is found dead, the townspeople suspect Kya is guilty of murder.An amazing story about a girl growing up in the marsh. Kya has a difficult childhood, and doesn’t have the same opportunities as many children her age. She is smart and resilient though, and she manages to create a quiet life close to nature.This book has multiple aspects that make it a compelling read. Historical fiction. Coming of age. Romance. Mystery. The setting is North Carolina in the 1950s to early 1970s. Kya is a child in the 1950s, but a good portion of the novel takes place during Kya’s teens and early twenties. Kya is alone in the world, but she does get a couple of suitors in her life. The mystery that takes place is well developed, especially in the questioning of the death as a murder or an accident. Unfortunately for Kya, her reputation as a wild child from the marsh has the townspeople convinced she is guilty, whether or not there was a crime.Where the Crawdads Sing is beautifully written. I especially enjoyed the parts dealing with nature. Growing up in the marsh, and not having anyone in her life, Kya has an extraordinary relationship with the natural world. As Kya matures, she becomes a strong and intelligent woman.An emotional story that follows the life of an interesting character. Intriguing, captivating, and heartbreaking.I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    January 1, 1970
    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'Kya lay her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.'Kya Clark is a strange creature in her home town on the North Carolina Coast. Once a lost little girl, abandoned by every one she ever loved, forced to care for her abusive father, discarded, abandoned by her mother and siblings run off one by one by her father, she merged with the marsh, the only mother she has left. Growing up as much a part of the land as the tr via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/'Kya lay her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.'Kya Clark is a strange creature in her home town on the North Carolina Coast. Once a lost little girl, abandoned by every one she ever loved, forced to care for her abusive father, discarded, abandoned by her mother and siblings run off one by one by her father, she merged with the marsh, the only mother she has left. Growing up as much a part of the land as the trees, the insects and the birds she is closer to nature than to other human beings. It’s no mystery that in 1969, when Chase Andrews is found dead, the people immediately turn their suspicions upon Kya. But first, we must go back to the beginning.It starts with love story between her mother and father, a man full of promises that soured. It had to have been love once, surely? Was it the depression that brought her Pa so low, or his war injury? Something cracked that Kya is too young to understand. What her parents were before the family ended up here, in a rough-cut shack, eating scraps under the thumb of a cruel father, beaten down by life- Kya is too young to know. It is 1952, and life is mean for her and her siblings. Something is missing behind her mother’s eyes, but Kya and her brother Jodie couldn’t imagine just how bad things could get. Left with their father’s ‘red-faced rages’, the family dissolves until only Kya remains. For a time, she dodges her fathers fists and fury and learns to be the caretaker, with the gnawing hunger in her belly and her empty heart, it is through trial and error that she learns to cook. Her father demands she earns her keep! There is nothing for it but to grow up, insulate herself with tough skin. Her survival dependant fully on herself, she is blessed to know Jumpin’ and Mabel, who despite struggling themselves reach out to Kya. The marsh becomes her mother, a provider when she learns to listen and hunt for food, it isn’t long before she is living in isolation completely. She turns to the marsh for sustenance, the land others fear and dare each other to enter (surely it’s haunted) is her safe haven, the only home she has ever known. She is nothing but a whisper to the townfolk, the marsh girl. As she comes of age, she is never without the town’s malice, thought of as nothing more than poor marsh trash. Her only attempt at school taught her nothing as vital as just how separate she is from every other boy and girl, lacking in social graces and intellect, not meant for any world but the marsh. She spies on people, quiet as a wild animal, always from a distance, until Tate. Tate awakens in her the world she has been denied, teaching her lessons of literature and of the heart. But not all things tender last, the nature of love is as untamed as her own spirit. What begins in innocence intensifies as her body changes, and her desires grow. Yearning for her mother, for guidance, she leans on Tate. There are threats surrounding them, the biggest one of all… the future. How can she ever fit into a life beyond her barefoot, quiet existence? Why does she long for the people who turn their backs on her? How can she open herself to trust when nothing and no one is solid? Her wants are as meager as her belongings, simply to be touched, to belong. But every single person she has ever loved may as well be a phantom for all their vanishing.Then there is another boy, whom she has watched, wondering how it would feel to be among his group of friends with their easy, casual play. The very boy who torments everything in his path. Where Tate is shy, sweet, this other boy takes what he wants as his due and just as carelessly discards things he doesn’t. Both will come to play pivotal roles in her lonesome life, each enraptured, almost obsessed by her fierce independence. She is a stolen moment, a world separate from the demands of others, a secret, something easy to take and take your fill of. Isolation grows, even love can’t save her from a life as an outcast.The years pass, her legend and mystery grows and when she is accused of a horrific crime, how will she convince a town ,whose never shown her one lick of kindness, of her inocence? What of the dead man, could she have had anything to do with his demise? We float along the rough, solitary years of Kya’s life as a boat glides through water, unraveling not just the mystery of a death but of Kya’s unique existence. Nature is as much the reader’s constant companion as it is Kya’s. Can a wild thing ever be kept, tamed through love? Should it be? Those who betrayed her, hurt her, will she even get her own pound of flesh?The ending was as sad and beautiful as the entire novel. Lingering mysteries are solved, and true love proves itself in the end. It is a story about the nature of the heart and the land. A gorgerous debut novel.Publication Date: August 14, 2018Putnam
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  • Jillian Doherty
    January 1, 1970
    This slow burning and compulsive read, it’s under your skin and stays with you. Kya, the abandoned and self driven young protagonist, pushes forward from sheer determination to survive. Her story is timeless.Owens creates a fully immersive setting and story; a sensory experience. This book makes you feel, smell, and taste the marsh deep, set in North Carolina’s unspoiled coast line. As we follow this unforgettable heroine fight her own emotional and physical battles, we let all fade away around This slow burning and compulsive read, it’s under your skin and stays with you. Kya, the abandoned and self driven young protagonist, pushes forward from sheer determination to survive. Her story is timeless.Owens creates a fully immersive setting and story; a sensory experience. This book makes you feel, smell, and taste the marsh deep, set in North Carolina’s unspoiled coast line. As we follow this unforgettable heroine fight her own emotional and physical battles, we let all fade away around her story as she unconditionally commands the page (and with so little available on this incredible author I wonder if she is the the marsh girl :)Galley borrowed from the publisher
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  • Joy D
    January 1, 1970
    Set mostly in the 1950’s and 1960’s, this book is historical fiction about a girl growing up in poverty in the marshes near the coast of North Carolina. As a child, Kya is abandoned by her mother and older siblings, leaving her in the hands of an abusive alcoholic father. She is eventually left to her own devices to survive in a primitive shack in the wetlands. She is befriended by a black couple who own a store, and a young man who teaches her to read. She collects specimens and develops a keen Set mostly in the 1950’s and 1960’s, this book is historical fiction about a girl growing up in poverty in the marshes near the coast of North Carolina. As a child, Kya is abandoned by her mother and older siblings, leaving her in the hands of an abusive alcoholic father. She is eventually left to her own devices to survive in a primitive shack in the wetlands. She is befriended by a black couple who own a store, and a young man who teaches her to read. She collects specimens and develops a keen interest in the animals and plants of the natural world. A second storyline revolves around the mysterious death of local young man with ties to “The Marsh Girl.” This book brings the marsh to life through lush descriptions of the flora, fauna, sights, sounds and smells. Richly detailed, it is obvious the author loves nature. It is told in dual timelines, one revolving around Kya’s life story and the other around the investigations into the mysterious death. These timelines eventually coincide, and the interconnections are revealed. I particularly enjoyed the first half of the book, which focused on Kya’s early life, her struggles, and coming of age. She is a memorable and sympathetic character who struggles with competing fears. She lives in isolation and longs for companionship. She fears getting too close to people due to her abandonment issues. I was less enthusiastic about the second half, where the storyline morphed into a crime procedural. I am not an expert in this area, but it didn’t quite gel for me. Content warnings include descriptions of abuse, profanity, sex, racism, and harm to animals. I think this book will appeal to a variety of interests: Recommended to fans of storylines involving nature, coming of age, mysteries, crime procedurals, human behavior, or character studies. Many thanks to the publisher via NetGalley for an advance reader's copy in exchange for a candid review. Release date is August 14, 2018.
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  • Amy (TheSouthernGirlReads)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Putnam for my review copy.“Let’s face it, a lot of times love doesn’t work out. Yet even when it fails, it connects you to others and, in the end, that is all you have, the connections.”Delia Owens, WTCS.Y’all know I shamelessly stalked Putnam for a copy because North Carolina...and honestly when @anniebjones05 spoke about it...I thought, I need this book in my life. To say it exceeded my expectations is grossly inadequate. I am in awe. I grew up in Coastal NC. I literally learned more Thank you Putnam for my review copy.“Let’s face it, a lot of times love doesn’t work out. Yet even when it fails, it connects you to others and, in the end, that is all you have, the connections.”Delia Owens, WTCS.Y’all know I shamelessly stalked Putnam for a copy because North Carolina...and honestly when @anniebjones05 spoke about it...I thought, I need this book in my life. To say it exceeded my expectations is grossly inadequate. I am in awe. I grew up in Coastal NC. I literally learned more from this book than I did living 18 years in the area. It is the most heartbreakingly, atmospheric novel I have ever read. Delia, painted images on the pages. The writing was soulful. Add in a dark mystery and this book is perfection..Kya, Marsh Girl, is left to fend for herself at a very early age. The story flashes back between her earliest memories and 1969 current day. All the while we watch her navigate through childhood into adulthood..As an adult, this novel absolutely broke my heart. I am appalled that this child was left to fend for herself. On the other side of the coin, I’m absolutely amazed by Kya. She is strong, determined and intelligent. You know I don’t like to give a lot of backstory...read the synopsis for more 😉..I honestly can say this is the smartest novel I have {possibly} ever read. Delia’s knowledge of nature brings the setting to life. I felt every single thing. I learned. I cried. I loved right along with Kya. Owen’s is a master storyteller. At the end of the day I can never do this book justice with my review. All I can say to you is, buy this book. Buy it for yourself. For your mama. For your friends. In my opinion it will be applicable to any reader. I can’t narrow it in to one genre or another. Although, I will say it is primarily Southern Fiction, it has mystery, nature, romance and courtroom drama. It literally blows through genres 💗.
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  • Donna Davis
    January 1, 1970
    Kya Clark lives with her family in a shack deep in a North Carolina marsh. The year is 1969. They are miserably poor, but Kya’s mother tells her it will be alright, as long as the women of the family stick together. But then one day, she leaves. Older brother Jodie tells Kya that Ma will be back, because it isn’t in a mother to leave her children, but Kya isn’t so sure. Ma is wearing her alligator heels, and she doesn’t turn midway and wave like she always has. And one by one, everyone in her fa Kya Clark lives with her family in a shack deep in a North Carolina marsh. The year is 1969. They are miserably poor, but Kya’s mother tells her it will be alright, as long as the women of the family stick together. But then one day, she leaves. Older brother Jodie tells Kya that Ma will be back, because it isn’t in a mother to leave her children, but Kya isn’t so sure. Ma is wearing her alligator heels, and she doesn’t turn midway and wave like she always has. And one by one, everyone in her family leaves, and they don’t return. Kya is not even old enough to enter first grade, and she is alone. This haunting novel is the best surprise of the summer, and it’s for sale today. Thanks go to Net Galley and Putnam Penguin for the review copy. Owens is a wildlife scientist of some renown; here she changes lanes with her debut novel. She uses her knowledge base to create an evocative setting that is real and immediate, but she never adds scientific information at the expense of pacing. Instead, the setting is used to reinforce Kya’s character; this is unusual in a researcher turning toward fiction writing. Professors and other specialists tend to shoehorn in every fact that they think the reader ought to know regardless of what it does to the flow of the narrative. Instead, Owens blends setting and character seamlessly, spooling Kya’s life before us with the patience and discipline of the finest master storyteller.Kya barely survives, digging mussels to eat and selling them at a waterside convenience store owned by an African-American entrepreneur known as Jumpin’. Little by little, Jumpin’ comes to realize exactly how dire this child’s situation is, and he and his “good sized” wife, Mabel, contrive to provide her with a few of life’s necessities without frightening her or hurting her pride. I would have preferred to see these resonant characters voiced without the written dialect, but there are no stereotypes in this book. Tate is an older boy that has been a family friend since she was tiny, but she doesn’t remember him, and thinks she is meeting him for the first time after he begins leaving her beautiful bird feathers on a stump in the swamp. It is he that teaches Kya to read, and he becomes her first love.The narrative shifts between Kya’s life and an investigation of a murder. Chase Andrews, a local football hero and the son of a local bigwig, is found dead at the base of a nearby water tower. Kya, who is poorly groomed, impoverished, and has no family to protect her becomes the focus of the investigation. Townspeople have long considered her to be “swamp trash,” and this discrimination is age old; Kya can remember her mother telling her that she must never run when she goes into town, because if she does someone will say that she stole something. One of the most appealing aspects of this novel is that the mystery of Chase’s death never eclipses the main story. The book isn’t about Chase or his demise; it’s about Kya in the marsh, and as she becomes an official suspect, we only want what is best for her. I read several stories at a time, now that I am retired, but this is the one that occupied my thoughts when I was doing other things. I kept thinking about that poor little girl out there. I can almost always put a book down; it’s what I do, after all. This one is exceptional. Those that love excellent literary fiction; Southern fiction; or romance need to get this book and read it, even If you have to pay full jacket price.
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  • ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
    January 1, 1970
    Well, we better hide way out there where the crawdads sing. This book has a bit of everything in it. There is the family drama, a murder case, poetry, mentions of many a great southern dishes and of course the science of the marsh and all it holds. I love historical fiction that takes place in the south, I don't care what time period it is. One period began in 1952, when Kya's mother fled, until it eventually merged with 1969...the discovery of Chase Andrew’s body, his murder investigation, and Well, we better hide way out there where the crawdads sing. This book has a bit of everything in it. There is the family drama, a murder case, poetry, mentions of many a great southern dishes and of course the science of the marsh and all it holds. I love historical fiction that takes place in the south, I don't care what time period it is. One period began in 1952, when Kya's mother fled, until it eventually merged with 1969...the discovery of Chase Andrew’s body, his murder investigation, and the trial that followed. It wasn’t the murder investigation that kept me turning pages late into the night. It was Kya’s solitary life and the knowledge that she was eventually going to be charged with this crime. Owens handled the how, when and why of that beautifully, building suspense and doubt along the way. I have to do life alone. But I knew this. I’ve known a long time that people don’t stay. There's nothing better than family drama, if you ask me, and Delia Owens loads this book with details that keep the reader turning page after page at breakneck speed to discover the myriad of ways that Kya Clark's background continues to follow her into her adult future. A legacy of secrets and shame becomes evident as the carefully constructed walls she has built around her family history, and herself, begin to crumble. This time she tilted her head to the side and her lips softened. And for the first time in her life, her heart was full. This is a novel that is absolutely compelling. Kya is a sympathetic character who is forced to grow up much too fast due to her chaotic home life. Throughout this captivating novel, Delia Owens sensitively explores the long-term effects that disinterested parenting and family secrets can have on a young girl and her adult life. This glimpse of life during an oppressive and tumultuous time in the South will linger in readers’ hearts and minds long after the last page is turned. There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.
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  • Hannah Grace || BookNerdNative
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much @putnambooks #partner for gifting me a copy of this book for review.•••“Kya stood and walked into the night, into the creamy light of a three-quarter moon. Soft air fell silklike around her shoulders. The moonlight chose an unexpected path through the pines, laying shadows about in rhymes. She strolled like a sleepwalker as the moon pulled herself naked from the waters and climbed limb by limb through the oaks....she danced among the pale wings of mayflies, fluttering above the Thank you so much @putnambooks #partner for gifting me a copy of this book for review.•••“Kya stood and walked into the night, into the creamy light of a three-quarter moon. Soft air fell silklike around her shoulders. The moonlight chose an unexpected path through the pines, laying shadows about in rhymes. She strolled like a sleepwalker as the moon pulled herself naked from the waters and climbed limb by limb through the oaks....she danced among the pale wings of mayflies, fluttering above the bright moon-mud.” - WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens, Debut author and wild life scientist.•••I couldn’t wait to talk about one of my new favorite books. This book held all of my key words and phrases for a perfect story: Coming of age story, redemption + hope, nature, love + tragedy. I’ve never cried this hard finishing a novel. I didn’t know how to contain my emotional state.•••The story of The Marsh Girl will stay with me forever, as will the lush and descriptive language of the North Carolina swamp.•••I guess I don’t want to say anymore, because if I got going, I’d talk for years, but this book deserves awards, you guys. I’d love to see this one blow up in the pub industry. It comes out August 14th and it’s definitely worth a pre-order. I’ll be talking more about it leading up to its pub date. This book deserves a few dedicated posts.•••“Slowly, she unraveled each word of the sentence, “There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.”“Oh,” she said. “Oh.”“You can read Kya. There will never be a time again when you can’t read.”“It ain’t just that.” She spoke almost in a whisper. “I wadn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.”He smiled, “That’s a very good sentence. Not all words hold that much.’”•••
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  • Jessaka
    January 1, 1970
    “Marsh is a space of light, where grass grows in water, and water flowers into the sky.”“Swamp water is still and dark, having swallowed the light in its muddy throat.”“The morning burned so August-hot, the marsh’s moist breath hung the oaks and pines with fog.”What a beautiful nature writer. She has written a book on elephants and their suffering, but I don’t wish to read about elephants, especially not their suffering. I do love swamps, and my husband and I are planning a trip thid spring to t “Marsh is a space of light, where grass grows in water, and water flowers into the sky.”“Swamp water is still and dark, having swallowed the light in its muddy throat.”“The morning burned so August-hot, the marsh’s moist breath hung the oaks and pines with fog.”What a beautiful nature writer. She has written a book on elephants and their suffering, but I don’t wish to read about elephants, especially not their suffering. I do love swamps, and my husband and I are planning a trip thid spring to the one that the nature writer, Gene Stratton-Porter wrote about in her books, where the name of the swamp, Limberlost, was named after a man who walked into the swamp, got lost and never returned.In my high school years I loved Gene Stratton-Porter’s books. They always contained a sweet love story where only kissing was allowed, and perhaps only at the very end of the book. Her books would probably be boring to teenagers now; they want more. Delia Owens would give them that more, a little sex along with a murder mystery, sexual abuse, as well as a very dysfunctional family.Lya was known as “marsh trash,” the girl of the swamp. She collected specimens, much like Porter in her own books. She learned the ways of animals, even their sex lives. She collected sea shells, bird feathers, and other marsh life and wove them into her cabin, a cabin that she now lived alone in ever since her mother walked away, out of her life. Ever since her brothers and sisters, in time, followed suit, and eventually even her own father. Lya had to learn to live on her own without the support of anyone, except for a little help from some of the town’s people.She met another swamp creature, a boy named Tate, and they developed a wonderful friendship, much like those in Porter’s books. I loved Tate as much as Lya.But then there was the young man Chase, who had been murdered, a man with whom she had coupled. We are all allowed to make mistakes, but that doesn’t always mean that we all wish to read about them in books. And I suppose there is just so much that you can write about in regards to love and nature in this day and age that doesn’t begin to eventually become boring to some without the addition of explicit sex. And then there were the jail scenes as well as the court room’s, and I found myself desiring to go outside and collect my own feathers, feed our little wild turtle another slice of mango that he comes to get every morning, and water my garden, even weeding around the flowers and herbs. I even thought to read another Gene Stratton-Porter but then, being much older now, I find her writings to be boring.“In nature—out yonder where the crawdads sing—these ruthless-seeming behaviors actually increase the mother’s number of young over her lifetime, and thus her genes for abandoning offspring in times of stress are passed on to the next generation.”
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  • Renee (itsbooktalk.com)
    January 1, 1970
    My Overall Thoughts: Where the Crawdads Sing is a book you've probably been seeing everywhere lately whether it's been blowing up your Instagram feed, hitting some of the late summer must read lists and recently making People Magazine's Best Book Of the Week pick! If you've wondered if it's possibly as good as everyone is making it out to be I'm here to give my two cents worth and say yes it is, so run, don't walk, to buy or borrow it now.What Initially Drew Me InI was intrigued by the fact that My Overall Thoughts: Where the Crawdads Sing is a book you've probably been seeing everywhere lately whether it's been blowing up your Instagram feed, hitting some of the late summer must read lists and recently making People Magazine's Best Book Of the Week pick! If you've wondered if it's possibly as good as everyone is making it out to be I'm here to give my two cents worth and say yes it is, so run, don't walk, to buy or borrow it now.What Initially Drew Me InI was intrigued by the fact that the storyline involved a possible murder, an isolated "marsh girl" and the two men who get wrapped up in her world. Could this also be a love story? (hint: yes!) Funny thing was, when I really got into the story which alternates between 1969 and the 1950s, I almost forgot about the murder mystery part as I was so invested in Kya's story.Atmospheric WritingOwen's writing created a feeling of actually being in the marsh which truly became its own character . I felt the suspense of wondering how this little girl, abandoned by her entire family, was going to survive on her own. The townspeople saw her as "white trash" and, not surprisingly, did little to help her. There was, however, bright spots amongst the cruelty, one of them being a local man named Jumpin who was my favorite character after Kya. Speaking of Kya, if you're at all worried that she's a "weird" character who doesn't want to connect with others, don't be as her desire for companionship and to be cared about by others came through so clearly.A Flawless Second HalfI loved how Owens clearly combined her love of nature writing with her exploration of a little girl coming-of-age within the natural world. As for the mystery, I found it to be perfectly paced. The author hands us bits and pieces slowly, allowing this storyline to eventually merge with the past one and then really pick up speed. I found the last third of the book especially riveting as I couldn't wait to find out if my theories were correct. They weren't which I loved. As for the ending, I can honestly say I didn't see one part coming and it left me a little stunned. You'll be seeing this one on my top 10 reads of the year list, it's just that good. I can't wait for Delia Owen's next book, I hope she writes fast! You can all my reviews at www.itsbooktalk.com
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  • leslie hamod
    January 1, 1970
    My humble thanks to Nishtha Patel of G. P. Putnam and Sons and author Delia Owens for the remarkable privilege of allowing me to read an review the most meaningful book. I still weep at the feelings this book has aroused in my heart and soul.Nothing pangs the human heart more than feelings of isolation, loneliness and longing for human contact. I have had the experience of exquisite pain in reading about a young girl, living in isolation. Isolated from acceptance, ignored and left by so many in My humble thanks to Nishtha Patel of G. P. Putnam and Sons and author Delia Owens for the remarkable privilege of allowing me to read an review the most meaningful book. I still weep at the feelings this book has aroused in my heart and soul.Nothing pangs the human heart more than feelings of isolation, loneliness and longing for human contact. I have had the experience of exquisite pain in reading about a young girl, living in isolation. Isolated from acceptance, ignored and left by so many in her life. My heart is left bereft and raw.She survives alone following the departure of her beaten mother. She experienced the loss of her brother who found he could no longer withstand his drunken father's violent abuse. She finds love and loses it. She can no longer trust.Finally charged with a crime, she finds she must have trust in someone else's abilities. I am not allowed per the publisher not to use direct quotations. However, this book is not to be missed. I would love to give more than five stars to what I consider a masterpiece.Easy to read, unstoppable, you become the character. I consider this the year's most anticipated book. It is a MUST READ.
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  • Tracy (The Pages In-Between)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Putnam Books #Partner for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars.Everything about this book is going to be forever engrained in my memories. It was remarkable, and breathtaking, and everything I love about historical fiction, with some added mystery all rolled into one book. I love Kya, she was strong, and independent, and just wants love an acceptance just like everyone else in this world. She was a y Thank you Putnam Books #Partner for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars.Everything about this book is going to be forever engrained in my memories. It was remarkable, and breathtaking, and everything I love about historical fiction, with some added mystery all rolled into one book. I love Kya, she was strong, and independent, and just wants love an acceptance just like everyone else in this world. She was a young lady who suffered a great deal at the hands of her mothers abandonment, and at the hands of her drunk father. This is a very emotional journey.Owen's paints a beautiful picture of the setting in North Carolina, its vivid, and descriptive, with a lush-ness that makes me want to pack up and drive there. North Carolina is one of the states I most want to visit, and after reading this, the desire is even more fierce. From the shack that Kya lives in, to her surrounding area, to the places the two young men show her. This was a beautiful journey in many ways.This book also tackles some pretty difficult topics, such as abuse, racism, alcoholism, it's emotional, it's draining, and at times you are going to feel sad. But that's a sign of a great book, one that can evoke several emotions. In my opinion anyway. I loved that this was a historical fiction novel, but it also had an element of mystery too it, by way of the murder. It was like two of my favorite genres mashed together. I am so glad I was sent this book to review. I cannot wait to read what Delia Owens comes up with next.
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