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Where the Crawdads Sing (Large Print / Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Just as Proust was carried back to his childhood by a madeleine dipped in tea, give me a well written Southern story and the long dormant taproot that connects me to the red clay of my ancestors awakens and tugs at my soul. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens takes place in the North Carolina low country, but those of us raised on sweet tea and lumpy grits will recognize the scenes of marsh grass rustling and Blue Jay screeches as their own.

Jumping back and forth between 1952 and 1969, we follow the story of Kya Clark as her large, impoverished family whittles away under the abuse of a drunken father (think Huckleberry Finn) until only the 10-year-old “Marsh Girl” is left in the ramshackle cabin at the edge of the North Carolina backwaters. Through trial and error and the help of a local black family that runs a dockside store, Kya not only survives, she thrives.

Though never given a “proper” public education, Kya’s bright intelligence takes in the natural world around her and provides meaning amidst the isolation. Soon, two young men enter her Spanish Moss covered world. One will teach her to read and classify the birds, bugs, and plants around her. The other will awaken the yearning that exists in all humans. One of these men will end up dead.

Although this is Owens’ first novel, her extensive resume includes many non-fiction works that cover her work in Africa’s Kalahari region. She received a BS in Zoology as well as a PH.D. in Animal Behavior. This love of nature shines through in her description of the North Carolina tidal areas and Kya’s detailed observations of the life there. It’s easy to imagine the black mud oozing between your toes as you watch a heron standing in the mist on one leg while it gulps down a morning frog.

Like the South itself, Where the Crawdads Sing is both simple and complex. It’s a story that is as rich as a thick gumbo yet made from the most humble of ingredients. Afterwards, you’ll set the book down and be satisfied and nourished down to your soul.

— James Jensen

August 2018 Indie Next List

Where the Crawdads Sing is a stunning and beautiful novel that readers will want to simultaneously savor and devour with every luxurious word. You’ll hear the gulls cry on the beach through these pages, you’ll see the light flickering through the marsh trees, you’ll smell the homemade grits sizzling on the stovetop. Your heart will ache for the lonely marsh girl and your wheels will start turning when a body is discovered, but you’ll never regret reading this gorgeous novel.”
— Amanda Zirn, Bethany Beach Books, Bethany Beach, DE


More than 6 million copies sold worldwide
A Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine 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.

About the Author

Delia Owens is the coauthor of three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa. She holds a BS in Zoology from the University of Georgia and a PhD in Animal Behavior from the University of California at Davis. She has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, The African Journal of Ecology, and International Wildlife, among many others. She lives in the mountains of North Carolina. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781984827616
ISBN-10: 1984827618
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Publication Date: August 14th, 2018
Pages: 496
Language: English