Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing

Large Print - 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"--
Publisher: [New York] :, Random House Large Print,, [2018]
Edition: First large print edition.
ISBN: 9781984827616
Branch Call Number: LT FIC OWEN
Characteristics: 496 pages (large print) ; 24 cm
large print,rda


From Library Staff

#1 Adult Fiction Book

Tied with Educated for books read by 2019 Adult Summer Reading participants!

From the critics

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Mar 19, 2020

Guess I just don't get this?? Everything has so much description that I could find no rhythm to the words and gave up after 20 pages.

Mar 17, 2020

Marvelous book. The author gets into the brilliant mind of a person who is intimately part of the marshes and swamps of the coastal Carolinas. This person, Kya, understands and loves the natural world because that is the only way she could survive alone from six years old.

Mar 15, 2020

Beautifully written story. Vivid description of the “ Low Country ” in the south eastern US. Highly recommend. It has been on the best seller list for almost two years for a reason !

Mar 09, 2020

I skipped over this one when I first saw it on the Peak Picks shelf, but was urged to read it by a friend. I don't usually enjoy novels with romance-heavy plotlines, but found 'Where the Crawdads Sing' to be a sweet, stirring story that explores the connections between the natural world and the human-made one, how loneliness can inspire beauty, and what it means to be loved. The heroine, Kya, is quirky, likable, and charmingly scrappy. There were a few parts of the book that I found just a tinge too unrealistic to sit well with me, but the end of the last chapter had me in tears. 'Where the Crawdads Sing' is key lime pie for the soul, the perfect sunny-day picnic read.

Feb 28, 2020

Similar to Brit, I was underwhelmed with this predictable, romantic story. A fan of debut novels, this book pales in comparison to others. Coming off the 'high' of the groundbreaking debut, "Fight Club", it lacks uniqueness, plot twists and character depth. I'm the type of reader that seeks engaging, evocative storytelling with characters that break the mold, but this story falls flat in these areas. The Marsh Girl while interesting, isn't memorable, nor are the circumstances, common to stories from the South. Where the trial is concerned, I happen to be reading a Grisham novel simultaneously, and there's no comparison whatsoever. I'd rate the book 2 stars, but don't feel its fair. Regardless, its well paced, but mediocre at best.

Feb 24, 2020

Seems I'm swimming against the tide here. It's an interesting (but not very believable story) and I enjoyed the descriptions of the natural world and its inhabitants. I didn't think it terribly well written and there were several things that flew completely in the face of reason, or logic. I'll leave it at that.

Feb 24, 2020

Excellent bittersweet story! So glad I tried a new author. Have recommended the book to my friends. If you love a story of female empowerment you need to read this book!

Feb 22, 2020

This book is powerful. In every sense.

Kya Clark ,"The Marsh Girl". What a woman. Such a compelling character. I couldn't get enough of this book, it just kept on giving. Set in Carolina in the 1960's. Kya is referred to as The Marsh Girl, growing up in the Marsh for all of her life, a story of survival at it's finest. Kya faces prejudice daily. Even more so when Chase Andrews is found dead in the Marsh. Delia Owens writing is magnificent. The vivid imagery created is unbelievable. She touches on the themes of love, loss, loneliness, judgement, racism and social divide. ⠀

Since finishing I've been experiencing a book hangover like no other. I can't stop thinking about this book. I absolutely loved it.⠀

This will forever more be my go to recommendation

Feb 20, 2020

I read the description of this book and thought I wouldn't like it. A friend persuaded me to read it. Boy am I glad I did because I just loved it. This is a book about love and nature with a mystery wound around it. All three aspects of the book are excellent. I felt like I was reading "Educated," with easier reading. I would recommend this to anyone.

wendybird Feb 18, 2020

I'm always SO pleased when I get off my high "librarian" horse and read an item that has been hanging around the Bestseller Lists forever (in this case, nearly a year), and am impressed with the writing, the plot, and just everything about a book. Certainly this is the case with 2019 novel, As The Crawdads Sing. I have a soft spot for atmospheric tales set in the American South - as this one is. Abandoned as a young child in the lush but violent Northern Carolinian coastal marsh lands, Kya Clark lives a hard scrabble but rewarding existence. The prejudice and suspicion of the town folk towards her is dense as the surrounding bog. To all but 2 young men, "Marsh Girl" is nothing more than an odd, illiterate outsider.... until an unsolved murder case seems to point directly at her. There are a couple of audacious plot twists, but by then, readers are probably too captivated to care. Author Delia Owens has penned bestsellers before, but only as a fact-driven wildlife scientist; this is her first novel. This book will appeal to anyone who enjoys "novels of place", such as Kristin Hannah or even Harper Lee, and non fiction pieces such as, "Educated" and "Midnight in the garden of good and evil." Fingers crossed the movie rights go to someone who can capture all of this popular book's magic.

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Add Age Suitability
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 Quote
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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