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Publisher's Summary

Number-one New York Times best seller

A Reese's Book Club + Hello Sunshine on Audible Pick

"I can't even express in words how much I love this book...the way it’s performed on Audible just took me right back to my long summers in Tennessee. This story has a special place in my heart - I didn’t want it to end." (Reese Witherspoon) 

"Painfully beautiful." (The New York Times Book Review)

"Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver." (Bustle)

How long can you protect your heart?

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.

©2018 Delia Owens (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Cassandra Campbell serves up a bushel of Carolina accents in this debut novel by nature writer Delia Owens. Campbell's accents give the mix of classes and regions in the story the same realistic detail Owens provides for the marsh.... Prepare to be enchanted and haunted." (AudioFile)

"A lush debut; Owens delivers her mystery wrapped in gorgeous, lyrical prose." (Alexandra Fuller, author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight)  

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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    11,400
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    1,971
  • 3 Stars
    383
  • 2 Stars
    98
  • 1 Stars
    55

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    10,327
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    1,815
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    505
  • 2 Stars
    102
  • 1 Stars
    56

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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    10,354
  • 4 Stars
    1,845
  • 3 Stars
    378
  • 2 Stars
    105
  • 1 Stars
    53
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful

This was a wonderful Audible book to listen too. Set in the 1950's, it's a tale of a young girl who is abandoned and rejected not only by her family but also by the towns people. She is known as the Marsh girl, left to fend for herself at the age of ten. She is befriended and loved by some but mostly talked about by the towns people as that Marsh trash.
Those who have befriended, cared for and loved her along the path of her loneliness and growing up, see the value and worth of her hard won self taught skills. It was a moving story that will be read and reread in my lifetime.

125 of 133 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Felt like I was there...

...in the lagoons and marshes of South Carolina. After a long spell of so-so books laced with gratuitous obscenities and graphic sex, this was a breath of fresh salt air beautifully written. I will not soon forget Kya’s unique story with its painful beauty. The Deep South setting was vibrantly enhanced by the narrator’s rendition of southern country accents and voices of many characters, both male and female. Highly recommended!

189 of 203 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So good. So, SO good.

Such a unique story. Such flowing words and colorful writing skills by the author. In a world full of TED Talks and self-help books, this novel was a much-needed escape. I can’t wait to read more of her books.

59 of 63 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One Of The Best Ever!

This audiobook was one of the best I’ve ever listened to and I average at least 2 per month! Cassandra Campbell is outstanding and delivers the story is just one of my favorites!

41 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Took my Breath Away

All I can think is "To Kill a Mockingbird". This kept me intrigued until the very last page! If you love nature, you will love this book. If you love mystery, you will love this book. If you love romance, you will love this book.

82 of 89 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Veronica
  • PLYMOUTH, MA, United States
  • 09-22-18

Not my usual style

I usually go for a thriller, however after reading the reviews on this book I thought I’d give it a shot. So happy I did! It is so beautifully written and the narration was very enjoyable! Please give this book a chance!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful

As a woman who always felt a little out of step and lonely I suggest this thoughtful most artful book.
I give all 5's because I loved it!

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

DO NOT MISS THIS READ/LISTEN!

I will choose my word’s carefully, so as NOT to betray the books contents. All I can say is that it was a myriad of ups and downs, captivating, thought provoking and profound. In fact, there are SO many avenues in which to provoke thought, I may have to listen again and ponder each one over and over. So many very human and real emotions as well, understanding thereof! One can’t really be disappointed with the ending, for how else could it end? Indeed, a plausibly realistic ending with applicable content throughout and within ALL walks of life. Captivating. Simply captivating.

46 of 51 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Naive, young-adult fiction, strains credibility

This book has lovely passages about the natural world, but the author is out of her depth when it comes to plot and character development. The author lapses into childlike naivete too often, making me think she was writing for a 12-year-old audience. Having said that, I listened to the whole book, but about halfway through, I chafed and itched for it to conclude. It was hard to stay in a story so thinly drawn, with so many stock characters whose dialogue was trite, predictable, and cringe-worthy. Yet the descriptions of the North Carolina marsh and its denizens were imaginative and colorful.

(One month later) I'm adding this addendum to my original review: I have been noticing that I am craving the experience of being back in that marsh with the protagonist, where time slowed down, nature became the central focus, and plot and character development dropped into second position. The book has had a lasting impression on me, because the immersion into the protagonist's life in a small cabin in the marsh seems haunting, magnetic, and beyond time.

42 of 47 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Whodunit?

I always say that the best stories begin with a dead body. This one does not disappoint. Kya demands you love her. A small, waif like child who grows into a stubbornly independent teen, then woman. The supporting characters are well developed. The Marsh draws you in, wishing you could take a trip to 1967 North Carolina.

This book strongly reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird. And I can give no higher praise.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Claire D.
  • 09-27-18

Beautiful

A beautiful story, beautifully read. I loved this from start to finish, the narrator brought the story and characters to life, I didn’t want it to end!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-22-18

This book truly touched my soul.

A wonderful beautiful book which makes you feel breathtakingly lonely and ecstatic with happiness all together.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Teresa Bargallo
  • 11-08-18

One of the best reads I had by far in a long

One of the best reads I had by far in a long. What a true heroine!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs. G. F. Schotten
  • 10-16-18

wow

this is simply beautiful. I could not stop listening to this hauntingly sad and at the same time uplifting tale.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Molly
  • 10-12-18

Haunting and gripping

Although there are some overblown descriptions of the marshes and lagoons the essence of this story is good. It interweaves well between past and present to tell the story of a murder.
You cannot help but be drawn into the lonely life of the Marsh Girl and find out whodunnit.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jo Jevons
  • 10-08-18

Amazing

My favourite book this year! Owen’s vivid depiction of marsh life and an abandoned child unraveled into this masterpiece of story telling with themes so current and ancient at the same time. I could not stop listening.

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  • Michaela Stokes-Bridgman
  • 11-07-18

Sooooo good!!!

Wow what a book! A story which will stay with you long after you finish. Fantastic narration. Such a great experience I highly recommend this book!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-19-18

exceeded all expectations

Along with the praise for this book in other reviews, I would add that the delicate engagement with essential ideas around nature versus nurture, biological determinism, evolution and adaptation was a wonderful surprise. What a great way this would be to introduce these concepts in the classroom, particularly where there is resistance to scientific evidence.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • firedog
  • 09-28-18

Remarkable, Memorable, Beautiful

Everything about this book will stay with me; the setting, the characters, the plot. As for the writing, it is superb. Also the reader brought the book to life in a quiet understated exactly right performance. Highly recommend.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-14-18

Outstanding

I adored this book. I couldn't put it down, it had me in tears and had my stomach in knots at times. Beautifully written and narrated. I will definitely listen again. Thank you.