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Publisher's Summary

A number one New York Times best seller and a Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine book club pick.

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 Celeste Ng, 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.

©2018 Delia Owens (P)2018 Hachette Audio UK

Critic Reviews

"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)

What listeners say about Where the Crawdads Sing

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful story and well read

Loved the story and loved the narration. I’m going to miss the Marsh Girl. I highly recommended.

8 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story but a bit tiresome towards the end

The descriptions of nature and wildlife and the experience of social isolation is wonderful but towards the end I found the character less believable. What I mean is that it's hard to believe ANYBODY could be like her in real life. And the lack of change or the absence of development on her part gets monotonous repetitive and annoying.

4 people found this helpful

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Beautifully written and narrated story

I’m so sad to finish this book as it really transported me to a different place. Cassandra Campbell’s voice is perfect for this story with her Southern inflections and perfect switches between characters. I highly recommend this book!

3 people found this helpful

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Heartbreakingly good

An amazing story about perseverance in the face of impossibly sad circumstances. The loneliness is palpable. So well written. This will stay with me for a long, long time.

2 people found this helpful

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Lyrical

Sad, poignant plausible and impossibly lonely! I loved every single word... wish it was a series!

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant Book

This was an exceptional story, well written and a mix of nature, love, mystery
and human relationships.

2 people found this helpful

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Great story.

Ever read a book and not wanting it to finish but can’t stop? This is a beautiful story. What a character she was. Smarter than all. Well Done.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved this book

The book is captivating and beautifully read.The narrator was easy on the ear with appropriate interpretations of the endearing characters

2 people found this helpful

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A truly remarkable story

Seldom can I give a book 5 stars. This seems underrated for Where the Crawdads Sing. I couldn't put it down and felt every emotion conveyed by the narrator Cassandra Campbell (my favorite woman narrator). She brought the characters to life. The author, Delia Owens, kept me captivated from start to finish and I was very sad to finish such a brilliantly written book.
I hope to be able to read more from the same author on Audible.

2 people found this helpful

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A Must Hear

Loved it . Couldnt stop listening . Great story read and acted beautifully by narrator

2 people found this helpful

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  • Private
  • 05-09-20

Oh my word...

What a pile of tosh. Apart from the descriptive prose around the marsh's flora and fauna the story (non-story) was repetitive, drab and unsurprising. The dialogue could have been written by a 5 year old and was so unnatural it felt as if I was listening to a tutorial for an easy but boring subject. I felt obliged to finish it because it had such good reviews but that's 12 hours I won't get back. I'm sorry I bothered.

93 people found this helpful

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  • Lesley Paxman
  • 05-20-20

Story? What story?

For readers who like lyrical, sensitive and atmospheric books - this is perfect. For readers who like plot, pace and depth - give it a miss.

77 people found this helpful

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  • KarenRC
  • 02-12-20

Where The Crawdads Sing

Where The Crawdads Sing is the story of Kya, a young girl who is abandoned by her family and left to fend for herself. Already on the outskirts of the community, in more than just her location, she rarely ventures out of the marshes and spends her days learning about the habitat around her. When she does let the outside world in, she learns that it can be both scarier and more accepting than she could ever have imagined.
The lyrical and descriptive writing made this a very easy book to listen to and get lost in. The descriptions of the marshes were so in depth I was almost transported there.
I did feel it was a little bit slow to start, but once it picked up, I really didn't want to put it down.

64 people found this helpful

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  • KCT
  • 04-04-19

I wish I could discover this for the first time over and over

What can I say? I am a writer and editor and have probably read close to a thousand books in my life. I can honestly say this might be my favourite of them all. Definitely in my top three. I loved this from start to finish, the story is wonderful and the narrator fantastic. If you only read one book this year, this should be it.

105 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-15-19

amazing book

I ll never be the same again ..
thank you for this book it was wonderful

37 people found this helpful

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  • Chloe
  • 02-07-19

Wonderful story!

I wasn't sure what to expect when I read the synopsis but the reviews persuaded me to listen & I'm so glad I did. A wonderfully emotive story which I couldn't stop listening to. A must read!

37 people found this helpful

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  • Miss M S Naisbitt
  • 06-07-19

All the stars

Favourite audio yet. Cassandra Campbell truly brings the story to life. Totally engrossed from start to finish. Wonderful!

33 people found this helpful

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  • Deborah Hickey
  • 01-17-20

the best book I've read in years!!

this book moved me like no other book I've read. I could feel the place, feel her feelings and just fell in love with the characters.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-30-19

Where the Crawdads sing!

I really enjoyed the Where the Crawdads sing!
Be strong like Kai!!
What a gripping entertaining yet heartfelt somber joyful story......and well enjoy as much as poss!

19 people found this helpful

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  • Artful
  • 02-02-19

Well worth a listen

I am an artist and thought I would give Audible a try while painting. This was the first book I listened to and although it took me just a little time to get into the story, I found myself listening to it after I put my brushes down. I am now a fan of Audible and cannot wait to start a new book.

39 people found this helpful

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  • Melle
  • 02-06-20

Wonderful core story, but ultimately disappointing

I feel like I'll be in the minority here, but I didn't like this book overall. I only persisted because my Book Club is reading it.

Whilst the narration is good in many ways, giving the lyrical language the appropriate languid southern delivery, it made it a very long, very slow listen which became tedious about halfway through. Kya's voice didn't alter enough either as she became an adult, and the still breathless girlish voice made it hard to picture her grown up. Chase and Tate have identical voices too, which limited the sense of them as distinct characters.

The thread about the police investigation is a waste of time. It adds nothing to the story, or the suspense and is poorly, stupidly written. I would have opened with the discovery of Chase's body and not mentioned anything about that again until the trial. From the trial onwards, I couldn't wait for this story to be over. I guess it's possible a trial would have unfolded like this in the south at that time, but it comes across as highly implausible to me.

The story does too much, goes too far. Each story is just stretched that much further beyond what it should have been to make it hard to accept. I think with some editing and some pulling back of a number of the ideas, it could have been much more enjoyable. The core story of Kya's survival on her own and her appreciation and understanding of the natural world of the marshlands was deeply evocative and captivating - everything beyond that seems into Hollywoodesque storylines and ridiculous outcomes. A real shame, it could have been wonderful.

49 people found this helpful

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  • Linda Ingles
  • 08-11-19

Moving story

I loved this moving story. Being a nature lover and finding it therapeutic to sit and breathe in "nature" by riverbanks and estuaries this book transported you to the marshlands, sitting and observing the insects, birds and animals through all the well written intricate descriptive details of the author. The writng made you feel like you were sitting alongside the main character. The book touched my soul, even though it was wrapped around a sad story line with themes of family violence, abandonment, loneliness, human cruelty, love and survival. Overall this was a slow and steady pleasurable listen during my daily commute.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-15-20

Amazing! Beautiful! Enthralling!

The most beautiful book I’ve ever listened to! Now, my favourite & I’ll listen to it again to appreciate once more the magic that this talented Author has sublimely delivered.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-07-19

A must listen

Not at all what I expected.
Fantastic by all accounts, not predictable and 50% crime 50% fab romance/general story.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-03-19

So Pleased I Read This Book

LOVED IT!!! such a touching story. Written and read beautifully. I too highly recommend this book.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-08-19

Where the crawdads sing

Just a wonderful story - beautiful written, surprising and beautifully narrated .... It is an absolute must read. I cannot wait to read more books from this author.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kunal Kumar
  • 07-07-20

Captivating till the very end!

Delia Owens paints a beautiful picture about the marshes of North Carolina and takes the reader on an incredible journey with the main character(Kya). I like how the two different narratives slowly intertwine and give a fitting end to the Marsh Girl's story. The narration by Cassandra Campbell is a cherry on top with her delightful voice and her range of accents.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Denise
  • 08-28-19

Very intriguing Story

This story is so different, I just can't imagine such a life. The characters were interesting. I loved the special relationship between Jump in and Kya.

5 people found this helpful

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  • maxine
  • 08-08-19

Captivating

There is so much of the writing of this book that takes you to a special place. It is a social commentary about what we choose not to see and so relevant and true.

A book about resilience, adaptation and potential.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-14-21

I wish there was more

If you have a southern gothic hole to fill in your heart than this is it. I would highly recommend this book for anyone in need of some escapism, the setting, the story-telling, the characters, it's all very captivating. It may provide moments that remind you of To Kill a Mockingbird however, the story is completely its' own. It's not often that a book answers all your questions but leaves you begging for more; however, Where The Crawdads Sing, achieves this effortlessly.

3 people found this helpful