Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing

Book - 2018
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"Fans of Barbara Kingsolver will love this stunning debut novel from a New York Times bestselling nature writer, about an unforgettable young woman determined to make her way in the wilds of North Carolina, and the two men that will break her isolation open. For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She's barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark. But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world--until the unthinkable happens. In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a heartbreaking coming of age story and a surprising murder investigation. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens's debut novel 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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2018
ISBN: 9780735219090
Branch Call Number: F OWENS-D
Characteristics: 370 pages : illustration ; 24 cm


From the critics

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Feb 18, 2020

I did not find the characters believable in this book, especially the main character. I don't think this author has children because the notion that even the most resourceful of young children can survive on their own in a marsh with no medical care, money, schooling, or mentors is unrealistic. Also, I don't care how pretty she is, the most popular boys in town are not going to be fighting over some socially challenged, destitute wild girl with likely no personal hygiene or dental care. I just could not get into her story at all, and going from illiterate to accomplished with only a peer to tutor her? The endless descriptions of her natural surroundings are pretty if you are into that. I felt like the writer branched out from her non fiction nature writings by merging two of the easiest selling genres in fiction together: romance and murder mystery. I just don't think she did a very good job of it. All my friends loved this book though, so you probably will too.

Feb 16, 2020

Oh my gosh!! This book! I could not put it down and by the end had tears pouring down my cheeks. I did not want it to end. Thank you Delia Owens!

This book grabbed me right from the get go. It is about a ten year old girl who lives in the marsh land outside a small North Carolina town. She has been abandoned by her mother, brothers and sisters and abusive father. She learns to fend for herself and stays living in the shack she was born in. The story goes on about the few relationships she develops and how she is shunned by the towns people, being called "the marsh girl". Then a murder occurs and her world is turned upside down. I recommend this book!! I really enjoyed it and looked forward to when I could get back to it.

Feb 16, 2020

I wanted to like this one (I really did) but am completely bored with it so back to the library it goes. I got to about page 50. Maybe for a beach read but nothing more.

Feb 15, 2020

An exquisite read, near perfection. Full of emotions, good and bad, and of birds and other parts of nature. I was transported to the coastline of North Carolina and didn’t want to read. A story of resilience, of learning from nature, of love, and a good mystery to boot.

KarenTherese Feb 13, 2020

Stunning, magical and just wonderful. The type of book that does not come around often and marks the heart for life...

Feb 12, 2020

After taking this home a few times I finally took the plunge and read it over two nights as I could not put it down. Within just a few chapters you'll admire Kya's resilience and root for her to overcome her circumstances! Highly recommend for ages 13+

Feb 09, 2020

This is as good as everyone says. It has been on the bestseller list for years. It is the author's first novel and she is over 60. A mystery, a love story, a unique look at a coastline ecosystem, and a lesson in acceptance and tolerance. I couldn't stop reading it.

Feb 07, 2020

I will add a short review because this book has so many reviews. I usually avoid best sellers, but this book has been on the lists for so long, I thought I'd give it a try. It was not a powerful read, the plot was diluted, and some of the writing was a little contrived. But I enjoyed the book. Although this is partially about abandonment, I found it to be a tribute to the power of reading. That's why I read, and that's why I admire this effort. It transported me to the marshlands of North Carolina.

Feb 03, 2020

Charming read, didn't want to put down.

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Feb 04, 2020

ellysaurus thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Oct 31, 2019

t3485tank thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Sep 19, 2019

AliceInWonderbread thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Aug 07, 2019

nherrera61 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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Jan 30, 2020

Tate’s father told him many times, “The definition of a real man is one who cries with shame, reads poetry with his heart, feels opera in his soul and does what’s necessary to defend a woman.”
Mabel to Kya:”Ya need some girlfriends hon, cause they’re forever. Without a vow, a clutch of women is the most tender, most tough place on earth”

Jun 24, 2019

“She knew the years of isolation had altered her behavior until she was different from others, but it wasn't her fault she'd been alone. Most of what she knew, she'd learned from the wild. Nature had nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would.”

Jun 24, 2019

“I wasn't aware that words could hold so much. I didn't know a sentence could be so full.”

Jun 24, 2019

“Sometimes she heard night-sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whenever she stumbled, it was the land who caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.”


Add a Summary
Dec 30, 2019

The novel’s main narrative opens in the marshland near the fictional town of Barkley Cove, North Carolina. Seven-year-old Catherine “Kya” Clark lives in a shack in the swamp with her mother, father, and siblings. However, one day, Kya’s mother leaves the shack forever in order to escape the physical abuse inflicted by Kya’s father. Kya’s siblings soon leave on their own as well, leaving only Kya and Pa. Pa spends increasingly more time away from the shack over the years, and when Kya is about ten years old, Pa leaves forever. Kya has become thoroughly self-sufficient by this time, living on the land and occasionally trading in town for necessary supplies.

When Kya is 14 years old, a kind local boy named Tate Walker begins to visit Kya, and he teaches her how to read. He is about four years older than Kya. He also gives Kya his old textbooks from school. When Kya is 15 years old, she and Tate fall in love, but Tate insists that they do not have sex until Kya is older. Tate soon leaves for college, and although he promises to love and remember Kya, Kya feels abandoned. When Kya is 19 years old, she suddenly becomes attracted to a young local man named Chase Andrews. Chase begins visiting her often. Chase says that he loves her and is eager to have sex with her. Kya refuses at first, but after about a year, she consents to sex.

Tate eventually returns to Barkley Cove in order to perform scientific research on the marshland. He visits Kya and asks for forgiveness, but she refuses to take him back. Tate sees that Kya has performed much of her own research on the marshland, and he urges Kya to submit it to publishers. Tate also warns Kya that Chase is a dishonest womanizer. One day, Kya sees in the newspaper that Chase has become engaged to someone else. She is heartbroken. Later, she submits her research to publishers, and when she is 22 years old, a book of her research is published under her name. Kya’s brother Jodie sees the book in a store and returns to the swamp to reconnect with Kya. Jodie encourages Kya to give Tate another chance.

Chase eventually visits Kya and says that he wants to continue his relationship with her, despite the fact that he is married to someone else. When Kya refuses him, Chase tries to rape her. She hits him and escapes. Kya realizes that because Chase is such a popular member of the town, and because she is an outcast for living in the swamp, she has no recourse. One day, in October of 1969, Chase’s body is found near the swamp. He appears to have fallen—or possibly have been pushed—out of a fire watchtower. The sheriff investigates and arrests Kya. However, the evidence is inconclusive and circumstantial, and Kya is acquitted. She and Tate declare their love for each other, and they live together in the swamp. Kya continues her career as a naturalist, and Tate continues his career as a researcher. Kya dies at age 64, after which Tate finds evidence that seems to prove that Kya killed Chase. He disposes of the evidence so that no one will ever find it.


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