Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing

Book - 2018
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More than 7 million copies sold worldwide
A Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick
A Business Insider Defining Book of the Decade

"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

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.

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.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2018.
ISBN: 9780735219090
Characteristics: 370 pages :,map ;,24 cm


From the critics

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Oct 17, 2020

Wonderful coming of age story of a fascinating, self reliant young girl growing up alone. It is a story of love, abuse, betrayal, racism, and redemption, with the addition of a puzzling and somewhat suspicious death . It is also a lovely authentic look at the ecology of marshlife in 1950s North Carolina. ( I read the book on the Libby app, and found it useful to have an enlargeable marsh map available for reference using a separate browser tab.)

Oct 17, 2020

The author leads you through the story of the human who have been rejected by everyone in his surroundings but find the strength inside. Amazingly beautiful description of nature, hope and life in general. Really recommend!

Oct 05, 2020

Very original story about resilience, love, disappointment and survival.

Sep 29, 2020

Fantastic book. Read it twice. Would read it again.

Sep 25, 2020

Two of my best friends recommended this book to me.
I read this book via Libby app. This app offered me a 'skip the loan' which means I have only one week to read it. I was reading a different book at that time, and I had to return it soon. So, I had to finish the book I was reading first. After 4 days later, I started read "Where the crawdads sing", I thought I could not finish this book in 3 days. However, the storyline was so amazing. I liked the pace as well. Most of all, well-developed characters and their circumstances are beyond my expectation. I ended up to finish it in two days.
I highly recommended !!

Sep 24, 2020

One of our reading project books. This is a murder mystery, with most of the activity occurring in a coastal Carolina marsh. The author is a zoologist with a PhD in animal behavior and her fascination with animals of all shapes and sizes permeates the story. Although I have visited similar areas a bit farther north along the Atlantic seaboard, Owens makes clear just how much I missed. If you like mysteries and have an interest in ecology, birding, or just being in nature, you will enjoy this novel.

Sep 18, 2020

It lived up to the reviews!

Sep 16, 2020

I LOVED this book! No wonder it’s never available - everyone wants to read it!
Highly, HIGHLY recommend.

pacl_teens Sep 11, 2020

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is a beautiful coming of age and historical fiction novel. This book follows Kya Clark and her journey growing up in the marsh. At a young age, Kya was abandoned, in her house by the marsh, she had to learn how to do things by herself and meet new people. Everyone in town calls her the “Marsh Girl” because she is a little different but she won't let that stop her from doing what she loves: exploring the marsh. A couple of years later a man is found murdered on the marsh and all fingers point to Kya.

This book is a current favorite of mine! I loved everything about it. First of all, the plot was very unique and different. You would think that in a situation where a girl is abandoned by her family it would be a very sad and dark story but Owens shows us that there is beauty in everything and that is very true with Kya’s experience living alone. Although she did not have her family there for her she had other people throughout her life to help and guide her. Second, I quickly learned to love Kya. She is the type of girl that is optimistic, friendly, and smart. She just seemed like an amazing person overall and I would have loved to be friends with her. Next, I loved how the author was able to incorporate a mystery into a coming of age novel. I feel that these two genres fit perfectly in this book. You get to learn about Kya as well as try to solve the murder. Lastly, I loved the ending. It was very well-fitting. I had not expected it but was pleasantly surprised by it.

Overall, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is a heartwarming and emotional novel. If you are someone trying to get into historical fiction or mystery I definitely recommend this book! -Eunchae, Grade 10

Sep 11, 2020

Absolutely spellbinding! My sister, who lives in Germany had recommended this book to me and even though I found the beginning a little bit slow, I became totally entranced, and read the book in one day. The ending totally astounded me. I was also move by the way the writer used flash backs to actually move the story along. Incredible talent!!

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Aug 30, 2020

“Please don’t talk to me about isolation. No one has to tell me how it changes a person. I have lived it. I am isolation.

Aug 30, 2020

"Faces change with life’s toll, but eyes remain a window to what was...”

Aug 30, 2020

“If anyone would understand loneliness, the moon would.”

Aug 30, 2020

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

Aug 25, 2020

"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."

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.”

Age Suitability

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Jun 22, 2020

GreaterChicken thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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


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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