Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens


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Number of Pages: 384 pages

Listening Length: 12 hours and 12 minutes

Audiobook Narrated by:  Cassandra Campbell

Goodreads rating: 4.5

Published in: 2018

Publisher’s description

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village. Kya Clark is barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when the popular Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately suspect her.

But Kya is not what they say. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life’s lessons from the land, learning the real ways of the world from the dishonest signals of fireflies. But while she has the skills to live 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 profound coming of age story and haunting mystery. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens’s debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the child within us, while also subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

Praise for Where the Crawdads Sing

​​“A lush debut novel, Owens delivers her mystery wrapped in gorgeous, lyrical prose. It’s clear she’s from this place — the land of the southern coasts, but also the emotional terrain — you can feel it in the pages. A magnificent achievement, ambitious, credible and very timely.” — ALEXANDRA FULLER, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF DON’T LET’S GO TO THE DOGS TONIGHT

“Both a coming-of-age story and a mysterious account of a murder investigation told from the perspective of a young girl… Through Kya’s story, Owens explores how isolation affects human behavior, and the deep effect that rejection can have on our lives.” — VANITY FAIR

“A painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature….Owens here surveys the desolate marshlands of the North Carolina coast through the eyes of an abandoned child. And in her isolation that child makes us open our own eyes to the secret wonders—and dangers—of her private world.”—The New York Times Book Review

Quotes from Where the Crawdads Sing

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

― Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing

“His dad had told him many times that the definition of a real man is one who cries without shame, reads poetry with his heart, feels opera in his soul, and does what’s necessary to defend a woman.”

― Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing

“Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.”

― Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing

“Why should the injured, the still bleeding, bear the onus of forgiveness?”

― Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing

About the Author of Where the Crawdads Sing

Delia Owens is an author and zoologist. She has co-authored bestselling non-fiction books about her life in Africa. She currently resides in Idaho. 

Delia Owens Books in order

Although “Where the Crawdads Sing” is Owen’s first novel, she has written three other non-fiction books about her life in Africa.

Author’s interview: Delia Owens in CBS Sunday Morning

In “CBS Sunday Morning” author Delia Owens takes you to Kya’s world. CBS News national correspondent Lee Cowan visits Owens at her home in Idaho and her favourite places in nature. 

What to read after Where the Crawdads Sing?

More books to read after Where the Crawdads Sing

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