Your audiobook is waiting…

Where the Crawdads Sing

Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
5 out of 5 stars (109,182 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart
This Story Is Sweet

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)  

“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)

“Steeped in the rhythms and shadows of the coastal marshes of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, this fierce and hauntingly beautiful novel centers on.... Kya’s heartbreaking story of learning to trust human connections, intertwine[d] with a gripping murder mystery, revealing savage truths. An astonishing debut.” (People)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    89,908
  • 4 Stars
    14,674
  • 3 Stars
    3,153
  • 2 Stars
    906
  • 1 Stars
    541

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    79,217
  • 4 Stars
    14,311
  • 3 Stars
    3,939
  • 2 Stars
    943
  • 1 Stars
    599

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    80,471
  • 4 Stars
    13,533
  • 3 Stars
    3,188
  • 2 Stars
    943
  • 1 Stars
    540
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

The narrator really harmed the main character

My book club just read this, so I felt compelled to go to the end, which I might not have done otherwise. I had a lot (a LOT) of time to decide how the narrator made me feel about the main character, Kya, and while this seems harsh, the words "simpering twit" kept occurring to me. This was frustrating, since objectively Kya is mostly not that -- though her default reaction to almost any encounter with the outside world is to run and hide in the reeds, which became annoying after so many repetitions, she was also tough, enduring, thoughtful and self reliant. For some reason, though, the narrator felt that anytime Kya faced adversity, her voice should become annoyingly tremulous and childlike. This grated so much that I asked my fellow book club members -- who read instead of listened to the book -- whether "simpering twit" accurately described Kya. To a person they disagreed, so their experience might have been closer to what the author intended. Apart from this, which was tough to ignore, the story veered from moving and compelling to utterly tiresome -- every time Kya seemed to make progress, which of course readers like, she'd be slapped back into despair. After awhile I just lost patience. And while I love courtroom scenes and didn't hate this one, the ridiculous disregard for trial procedure was so maddening that I kept yelling "objection" when the defense attorney didn't. On the whole, quite disappointing. I'm a guy, but I usually trust Reese Witherspoon's judgment -- her movie adaption of the book "Wild," for example, was just brilliant. In this case, I hope the movie is much better than the book.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Preposterous

Don’t waste your time. A 6 yo raises herself? Never gets sick? Doesn’t get raped? No one really helps her? Only one of her brothers returns? What happened to her 3 sisters? Her father? She writes books even though she’s never been to school? Gets an honorary doctorate? Her house or boat never fall apart? The list goes on. Boring and ridiculous. The narrator’s hillbilly accent was unbearable. This reads like a script for a bad Lifetime for television movie!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator ruined it

I really wanted to like this book but the narrator was unbearable. Her fake southern accent and over-enunciating were horribly distracting.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Good build up but predictable

Good for readers who enjoy "happily ever after"-style endings or who like a story completely wrapped with with a bow at the end. I prefer more unexpected twists and turns and even an open-ended plot that leaves the reader wondering. It was enjoyable but not the most original story and seemed predictable. I tend to lose patience with and roll my literary eyes at meek, insecure feminine heroines...even when they triumph over their detractors in the end.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting story... a bit too Soap Opera for me

The author did a wonderful job of painting a brilliant picture of the landscape. Her description of the marsh, animals, tides etc. were what I enjoyed most. However, the love story woven into everything had me feeling frustrated more than intrigued. And the mystery she planted throughout the book became more annoying than anything else. I usually love all books but something about this one dragged on and on for me. Great quick summer read!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Did the author die and someone else finish it?

Interesting read until about the last 5 chapters. Without giving anything away, she wrapped it up 20 times faster than the pace of the previous chapters. It seemed like two different people wrote this book. Left too too many threads hanging. Can't recommend for that reason. Interesting story and then it flat lined.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

I had hoped for a higher quality story, but by the end I could barely finish it. The story is a cross between a romance novel and To Kill a Mocking Bird, which could be a decent cross, but in this case I was groaning through the last half. I found the ending to be ridiculous. The reader, however, was excellent!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I wanted to kill my myself.

As this book is so highly rated and was recommended to me, I was quite surprised by how pedestrian, slow and predictable the story was. I kept listening, convinced the story would improve, but alas, it only mercifully ended.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • M
  • 06-18-19

Tiring

The first 40 chapters were great. I was drawn into the story and in how hard it was to believe. But the longer it went on, the more I wished it was over. Is it a murder story? A coming of age story? A fairy tale? The book tries to be everything. Kya is just this sad poor soul and she can’t catch a break. And that gets tiring. I skipped through the last few hours of the book because I couldn’t stand how drawn out it was.
The ending was horrible and made me feel tired and weary.
Would not recommend.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring

Waste of time. I would not recommend this audio book. I’m sorry I ordered it.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Claire D.
  • 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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • 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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for FreakyLizard
  • FreakyLizard
  • 04-26-19

Lovely Listeb

It's a slow burner, but what a lovely listen. Very poetic, it's an ode to nature. Very well written. I really enjoyed it. Worth it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Teresa Bargallo
  • 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
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs. G. F. Schotten
  • 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
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Molly
  • 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
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jo Jevons
  • 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.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for firedog
  • 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for tim davis
  • tim davis
  • 12-16-18

A beautiful story

The author does a fantastic job of transporting you to North Carolina and the marsh land. It was easy to listen to yet powerful at the same time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michaela Stokes-Bridgman
  • 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
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dr. Sue Tait
  • Dr. Sue Tait
  • 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. Dr. Sue Tait, PhD, Anthropology

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • 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.