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Publisher's Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING PHENOMENON—NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!
More than 15 million copies sold worldwide
A Reese’s 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.

©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)

Featured Article: Where the Crawdads Sing—Book vs. Movie


It seems that anyone who has indulged in Delia Owens's beautiful novel has been waiting for one thing—the chance see these characters come to life on-screen. The novel has sold more than 12 million copies and has returned to the top of The New York Times fiction bestseller list in both print and audio. The excitement that surrounds this novel remains high. But how does the film adaptation compare to the book? Read on to find out.

What listeners say about Where the Crawdads Sing

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
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Don't listen to the negative reviews.

First off, I'm a 29 year old low key nerdy male who watches NBA, NFL, shoots guns, plays basketball, races turbo cars and crotch rockets and loves zombie stuff and horror.

This is the first book like this I have read since high school. I hate anything romance, this is a subtle romance book.

All the reviews were what led me to this and they did not disappoint. Anyone who has anything negative to say is probably too close minded to accept the sheer brilliance and beauty of this book. The narrator and her accents add so much to the story.

The way the author depicts the south makes you feel like you had grown up there and everything is spot on. I guess I could see why someone wouldn't particularly love this but I would just assume they weren't intellectual or philosophical enough to appreciate it, Anyone who likes to step outside their comfort zone and see things from another perspective will like this.

1,100 people found this helpful

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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.

857 people found this helpful

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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!

525 people found this helpful

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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!

457 people found this helpful

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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.

456 people found this helpful

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Not sure how this book has such high ratings

I was so bored listening to this book to the point of almost not finishing it. I also had a very hard time with the narrator's voices she chose for the characters. I found it very distracting and really couldn't stand Kya's voice.

There was way too much dialogue, slow moving storyline, uninteresting characters, and anticlimactic twist at the end. I know I'm in the minority here, but I just couldn't get into it.

353 people found this helpful

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Didn't love this!

I was all set to love this book. Living in North Carolina and being an admirer of the coastal natural environment, I thought this book would be just my thing. I see that most other reviewers loved it. But I found this book to be heavy on cliche and shallow stereotyped characters, and just couldn't buy the motivations of some of the characters in certain parts of the book. Why did the supposedly caring mother leave all her children with someone she knew to be abusive--and never contact the children again? Why was Kia "walking like a duck" when Tate spied on her? Huh? I just couldn't buy the wealthy (and predictably also arrogant and violent) man's interest in Kia either. It just did not follow. I couldn't buy the idea that someone who had never been more than a few miles from home could write a guild to seashells of the east coast. The cringe-worthy depiction of the black mammy could not have been more stereotypical--it was painful to read. She says "Lawd" all the time and calls Kia "Chile." Many characters were constantly saying "I reckon...."

The best writing in this book happened when the author was writing about nature. The writing there is honest, compelling, clear, and sometimes poetic. Wow! This person CAN write. And maybe will improve with experience? I hope so. Even though I didn't love this book, I wish I could go bird watching with the author down on the NC coast.

The other thing that I didn't like was the narration; it might be just me, but Kia's weird baby voice and Beverly Hillbillies accent grated on my nerves from the start. Probably it would be better in print.

321 people found this helpful

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I KNEW from the title that this book wasn't for me

...but I wasted a credit on it anyway because it was a choice for Reese Witherspoon's book club and the preponderance of 5-star ratings, which I just don't understand. The premise strains belief; Kya's family abandons her as a child - her father, mother, older sisters and older brother leave her to her own devices in a decrepit shack in the marsh. But somehow, without help, she manages. Her relationship with Chase also doesn't ring true, but that's a necessary part of the story. The writing is pat and cliched.
The narration of dialog was awful - very exaggerated and I would say lower class speech, even for the judge and lawyers, who would have been educated and speak with a more scholarly dialect, but the narrator doesn't seem to know the difference. She must not be from these parts or she would know better. Her delivery of the narrative parts of the book was fine and unaccented. Kya's voice never develops any grown-up confidence, even after she becomes a mostly self-educated author of scientific books and and an authority on marsh wildlife; it remains shy and child-like.

299 people found this helpful

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Not worth the hipe.

Struggle to finish. Narrator had fake southern accent that was annoying.
Story was not interesting.

236 people found this helpful

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Wonderful novel

First a few words on narration. Cassandra Campbell has such a great range as a narrator going from the Jana DeLeon's Miss Fortune comedic novels to to this novel. She is simply terrific. I'm very late getting to WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING. It is a wonderful novel in every way. I'm fascinated by the negative reviews which dominate the top reviews here at Audible. Pay no attention to those because they are unreasonable and unfair. The average of over 150,000 ratings is 4.8 stars which is richly deserved. Kya (swamp girl) is as compelling a protagonist as any in fiction. The novel covers her life from age 6 to her death six decades later

224 people found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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  • 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!

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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!

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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.

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  • 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.

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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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  • 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 person found this helpful

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  • 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.

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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!

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  • 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

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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.