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Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
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Where the Crawdads Sing (2018)

by Delia Owens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8327016,375 (4.34)86
  1. 10
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» See also 86 mentions

English (66)  Dutch (1)  All languages (67)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
Story of a young girl whose mother leaves with an abusive father who deserts the home for long periods of time, finally forever. The girl stays in the home and avoids nearby towns, gives up on school after one day of attendance, and becomes a recluse. A young boy befriends her and teaches her to read. The marsh and swamp become her classroom and she observes and collects plants and animals. The boy gets her books about nature and spends time with her exploring the swamp. As they grow older, he finally leaves to go to college, fails to maintain contact with her, and fades from her life. She transfers her love for him to another young man, a rake who takes advantage of her naivety. A unique story unfolds. A unique and unforgettable story. Highly recommended. ( )
  eduscapes | Mar 21, 2019 |
I had heard the praise for this book and can only say I agree completely. It is both deeply human and moving and mind expanding.
While it is a series of flashbacks to an earlier time in South Carolina it portrays many characters in believable detail while maintaining a focus on love of nature and wild things. It never becomes preachy. Instead it remains a compelling story. It even includes an interesting courtroom drama.
Kyla the central protagonist is nearly self raised yet she manages to make herself a leading expert on the wildlife of her beloved marsh country. Because she is so endearing the reader routes for her growing abilities and gladly accepts them.
They, the author and Kyla, leave me wanting to know more about the marsh country. ( )
  waldhaus1 | Mar 20, 2019 |
Bittersweet tale of Kya (Marsh Girl), the two men that loved her.

Kya & Tate love each other, but he goes off to college and leaves her, too weak to even say goodbye

Chase is from town & loves Kya, but also loves other women & the society he belongs to.

Chase is found dead at the base of a fire tower where he & Kya would meet... Kya is tried for his murder

This was very lyrical, but difficult for me to read, as I'm not much into poetry & sadness... melancholia...

I was fascinated by Kya's relationship w/ the fauna that lived around her in the marsh & her ability to capture their essence via her studies of them. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Mar 19, 2019 |
This book is a coming-of-age story, a survival tale, a romance, and a murder mystery so it is not surprising that a film adaptation has been announced.

Kya Clark, by the time she is 10 years old, has been abandoned by her entire family so she grows up alone in the marshes of coastal North Carolina. She learns to be self-sufficient and spends her time observing flora and fauna around her; seagulls are her closest companions: Nature “nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would.” She avoids the nearby town of Barkley Cove where she is ridiculed; most people know her only as the Swamp Girl. Once left by her family, she has regular contact with only three people: she is helped by Jumpin’ and his wife Mabel from Colored Town and by Tate Walker, a young man who befriends her and teaches her to read.

The story of Kya’s youth and young adulthood (1952 – 1969) is interspersed with a 1969 murder investigation started when the body of a man is discovered. Kya soon becomes a suspect.

One cannot help but feel sympathy for Kya. She describes her life as being “defined by rejections.” Her mother, her siblings, and eventually her hard-drinking, abusive father leave her. She witnesses girls her age having fun together, knowing that she will never be invited to join them. When she does manage to later have relationships with others, they also eventually abandon her. She realizes that “the gulls, the heron, the shack. The marsh is all the family I got.’”

Readers looking for a strong female protagonist can certainly find her here. Kya is intelligent, resilient, courageous, and determined. Considering her lack of formal education, her accomplishments might seem rather implausible, but then I remembered Tara Westover’s memoir Educated which shows how someone from an impoverished background can have extraordinary success. There are in fact a number of similarities between Tara and Kya: both live in remote areas under harsh conditions with absent or unreliable parents.

Characterization is not the strongest element because characters tend to be either good or bad. For instance, there’s the kind teenage boy who goes of his way to help Kya, the younger sister of a friend, contrasted with the selfish teenage boy who takes advantage of Kya. The nurturing black couple and the lawyer who comes out of retirement to defend Kya are almost too good to be believable.

There are aspects of the novel that reminded me of To Kill a Mockingbird. The attitude of most of the townspeople towards the blacks in Colored Town is an obvious similarity. The trial also addresses prejudice, though in this novel, it is more class rather than racial prejudice. Kya is considered guilty by many just because she is “swamp trash”; even Kya’s lawyer says that, “’Most [of the jurors] have probably already decided – and not in Kya’s favor’” before deliberation begins.

Many reviewers have commented on the surprise ending, but I didn’t find it was a surprise in the least. Kya lives where the crawdads sing, “far in the bush where critters are wild, still behaving like critters” and we are told at the very beginning that marsh dwellers have their own laws, “Ancient and natural, like those hatched from hawks and doves. When cornered, desperate, or isolated, man reverts to those instincts that aim straight at survival. Quick and just. . . . It is not a morality, but simple math.”

I enjoyed this book. It is not great literature but there’s an interesting plot with considerable suspense and doubt surrounding the murder investigation. It examines social and racial divides and the effects of isolation on a person who yearns to connect with others and to be loved. I plan to watch the film version when it is released.

Note: Please check out my reader's blog (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/) and follow me on Twitter (@DCYakabuski). ( )
  Schatje | Mar 18, 2019 |
This book has been hyped quite a bit, so I that raised my expectations. i did like it although I found parts of it somewhat unbelievable and disjointed. I loved all the connections to nature and the ending really made the book for me. ( )
  carolfoisset | Mar 16, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Delia Owensprimary authorall editionscalculated
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Amanda, Margaret, and Barbara

Here’s to’d ya
If I never see’d ya
I never knowed ya.
I see’d ya
I knowed ya
I loved ya,
Forever.
First words
Marsh is not swamp.
Quotations
Crows can't keep secrets any better than mud; once they see something curious in the forest they have to tell everybody.
"There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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.
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