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Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
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Where the Crawdads Sing (original 2018; edition 2018)

by Delia Owens (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,8772143,166 (4.21)225
THE REESE WITHERSPOON X HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK and NATIONAL BESTSELLER "I can't even express how much I love this book! I didn't want this story to end!" --Reese Witherspoon "Painfully beautiful."--The New York Times Book Review "Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver."--Bustle 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.… (more)
Member:debbiehughes
Title:Where the Crawdads Sing
Authors:Delia Owens (Author)
Info:G.P. Putnam's Sons (2018), Edition: Later Printing, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:S carolina, girl on her owntrailer trash, .

Work details

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (2018)

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» See also 225 mentions

English (211)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (213)
Showing 1-5 of 211 (next | show all)
"Lush" is the first word that comes to mind in describing this book. Everything is lush - the swamp life, the sensation between the characters, and the language itself rolls off the tongue and through the consciousness with heft and substance.

Kya's relationships with her family and peers are expectedly problematic, but her relationship with her environment is not. She learns the ebb and flow of the tides, seasons and storms as though they are part of her. Knowing her intuitiveness lets us accept wholeheartedly her stability in knowing herself, what she wants, what she doesn't want, and what she is willing to try.

I didn't want this story to end! ( )
  CDWilson27 | Jan 24, 2020 |
I resisted this bestseller as long as I could. Until my wife read it and INSISTED I read it too. So I did. And I must admit WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING was a pretty compelling read, and a good story too, but only up to a point. The whole second half quickly began to bog down, and break down, into mushy prose and awkward dialogue that you might find in a Harlequin romance. But Owens was business savvy enough at this juncture to throw a murder mystery into the mix just to keep you reading to find out whodunit. And it worked, even for me, I'm embarrassed to say. (And my wife was still looking over my shoulder, so I had to finish it to keep peace in the family.)

First part was pretty good, with its "wild child" surviving in the swamp premise. Both my wife and I were immediately reminded of the 90s Jodie Foster film, NELL - very derivative. Then the Marsh Girl, Kya, learned to read, and ShaZAM! Almost before ya know it, she's writing scientific-art-nature books that are selling like hotcakes, bringing in big bucks, enough to modernize her "shack." And she reads poetry too, so random bits of verse begin to pop up in the text here and there, some from genuine writers like James Wright, Galway Kinnell and Emily Dickinson. Poets unlikely to be known in the Carolina swampland, but there it is. And an unknown "poet," Amanda Hamilton, who writes awful dreck, seems to be a particular favorite of Kya's. And her poetry, besides being bad, does nothing to move the story forward. In fact it is intrusive and distracting, i.e. Yechh!

But then there is a murder trial, in which Owens quite shamelessly gives us a town and courtroom straight out of Harper Lee, with a defense lawyer in a rumpled linen suit who could easily be the brother of Atticus Finch. Again, very derivative.

But okay, I know, I know. There's this great love story in here too, as well as a coming-of-age tale, a mean, abusive father, and a philandering, ladies man (formerly the town's star high school quarterback), total bastard, and, and ... Oh yeah, a MURDER mystery too! So I get it. All the elements of a bestseller. Which it is, of course. Ms Delia Owens knew what she was doing. And I admire her for that. (I did wonder, though, how the aforementioned quarterback-bastard managed to avoid the draft at the height of the Vietnam war.)

Women readers LOVE this book. And I almost did too, or at least the first half of it. Then it started going downhill. Only the whodunit aspect kept me reading (that and my wife). I suspect Owens may have read some Agatha Christy, because I see her influence in here too, with the "every character is a suspect" angle. And the ending? Sappy, contrived, unbelievable.

But probably that's just me. I'm not sorry I read it. But I'm glad it's over. My feelings for this book are very mixed. Would I recommend it? Maybe, but with some major reservations. (three and a half stars)

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER ( )
  TimBazzett | Jan 23, 2020 |
I was going to give this Two Stars, I was so disappointed. I upped my rating because I thought, had I come to it with no expectations or prior awareness of its success, Three Stars is probably what I would have given it. It was over-written, over-wrought, predictable, and unconvincing. Without even knowing what they taste like, I never ever want to eat grits. Did the author have to tell us every meal? I don't understand the acclaim for this book at all. ( )
  PrueGallagher | Jan 23, 2020 |
Saying Kya was abandoned at age ten is a kindness. She was basically on her own as soon as her mother and older siblings left. Her good-for-nothing father was around, but not in any way that mattered. His presence wasn't a positive point in Kya's life, but merely something to be tolerated and avoided (if possible). The two eventually shared a few meaningful moments; however, it was hard to overlook how her father had abused his family in the past. His few minutes of sobriety do not outweigh the years she suffered because of his decisions (drunken or otherwise).

I don't really use the word poignant when writing reviews, because I feel like it only really applies when a book can evoke strong feelings of sadness that have the capability of overwhelming me. Where the Crawdads Sing was both poignant and powerful. Kya learns to love the land she lives on, and she survives on a strong-will and the unexpected kindness of Jumpin' and Mabel. They were two people that loved her like she was their own, but also gave her the space she desired and maybe didn't always need. They helped whenever they could, and I think their presence was a big part of Kya's survival, and definitely the majority of her social interactions. It was also during a time when people of color were still treated abhorrently, but Kya only ever saw their kind-heartedness and understanding. They never pushed her to do anything more than she was comfortable with, but were always there if she needed something (even when she didn't necessarily know how to ask for it).

Tate. Sweet, adorable, gentle Tate. I really loved him from the start, and appreciated his approach to Kya. It was endearing to see how long he had been in her life without her realizing it, and that he'd always done what he could to help her survive in a world that wasn't necessarily fair or kind. His presence was a solid aspect of the story, and he felt like an immovable rock in her ever-flowing life. I'm not thrilled with how he chose to handle certain aspects of their friendship-turned-relationship, but they were both children and didn't always make the best decisions. I can blame their thick-headedness on age and circumstance. Tate is genuinely good though, and I really loved his interactions with Kya over the years. Their dynamics may have changed as they got older, but there was a deep-rooted love that transcended time.

Where the Crawdads Sing evoked very visceral feelings from me. My emotions were all over the place while reading this book, and it's a credit to the author that I could experience multiple feelings simultaneously. I'm pretty sure Owens made me feel every single known emotion (and even some that don't have names) with her writing, as well as the story she created. Kya is a character that has had a profound impact on my life, and the fact that she's fictional, only makes it that more remarkable. I also think the narrator did a wonderful job with this book, and cannot wait to listen to more books read by her.

The murder mystery was an interesting addition to the story, and it added another -- more immediate -- level of tension that was always hovering in the background. I kept trying to figure out who was responsible for Chase's death, and using the new information I gathered each chapter to figure it out. It was incredible how the author seamlessly weaved something so significant into the rest of the story. I honestly had no idea who it was, and kept circulating through most of the characters until it was revealed at the very end. Side note: Kya's lawyer was one of my favorite characters. He understood her on a level few others did, and he seemed to grasp what she needed without her having to say anything.

The ending was bittersweet, and left me feeling both satisfied and wanting. I wanted more for Kya, but appreciated that she was happy with the life she lived. I enjoyed watching her grow from a child to an adult, and seeing all of the hard lessons she had to learn along the way. Owens painted an authentic picture that included the intricacies of family and finding oneself in an unforgiving world. It was a very eye-opening experience for me, and one I will treasure always. Where the Crawdads Sing is a story that will stick with you long after you've turned the last page.

Originally posted at Do You Dog-ear? on January 23, 2020. ( )
  doyoudogear | Jan 23, 2020 |
If you skim past the eternal descriptions of nature, an interesting book. Thought I Saw the end coming, but a surprise twist at the end tricked me. Good reading. ( )
  dugmel | Jan 22, 2020 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Owens, Deliaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Audio, PenguinPublishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campbell, CassandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cavanaugh, MeighanDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kim, NACover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Gelder, Mariëttesecondary 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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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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