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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

What the critics say

"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

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

My heart ached and soared while listening to this

I heard about this book through Reese Witherspoon’s book list and decided to download as audio book after reading reviews about the narration. Absolutely the right decision.
This is by far the best audio book I have ever listened to. The narration was brilliant and made this story come alive. I was moved to tears so many times throughout this novel. Her innocence, loneliness and resiliency were powerful. I really did not want this one to end.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Highly recommend!

I started this audiobook to pass the time while stuck in traffic - but within no time I was listening to it in every spare moment I got. Excellent story all the way through!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful story. Brilliantly performed.

There are so many great elements woven into this story: rejection, loneliness, desperation, perseverance, brilliance ... but first and foremost ... love! Although the book is quite long I did not want it to end. Before it did end there were so many tears in my eyes I could hardly see.
The narrator's performance was perfectly matched to the story.

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Worth the read!

It took me a little extra time to get invested in the story but once I did - wow! I fell in love with The Marsh Girl, her strength and her perseverance. Great job Delia Owens - please write more! And Cassandra Campbell, your narration was on point! Thank you for a great listen.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyable

Overall, I really liked the story. I do think it was longer than it needed to be though.

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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the most extraordinary stories I have ever read

I have read hundred of books in my lifetime and would rank this one as one of my all time favourites. It is so beautifully written that I would rank it with poetry. The characters and locale were brought to life. I didn't want the book to end but longed for answers. This is one of those rare stories that came to a satisfying conclusion and allowi the reader to know it was complete. I highly recommend it to absolutely everyone.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

First audiobook...very enjoyable

This was my first audiobook and I really loved it. I found myself looking forward to listening to it during my commute. Although Kya's accent and voice sounded silly at times, the delivery was excellent and the story was very touching.

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  • B
  • 2018-11-08

Stellar narration

what a fantastic meditative listen. Narration is stellar. Characters are relatable, storyline has a perfect pace.

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Exceptional

Loved it. I kept making excuses to go listen to it. Brings a view of society we often do not want to look at.

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Great book.

The story was beautifully written, but I feel like Campbell's narration took it over the top.

Her southern accent gave life to the people and places in the story as if the book itself included vivid pictures of the town and its people.

Highly recommended.

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  • Veronica
  • PLYMOUTH, MA, United States
  • 2018-09-22

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!

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Seattle blues
  • 2018-08-17

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.

137 of 146 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda Ottey
  • Gardnerville,NV
  • 2018-08-19

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!

197 of 211 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-09-04

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!

43 of 46 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tammy Goad
  • Tennessee
  • 2018-09-06

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.

86 of 93 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-09-18

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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • HelloMellow
  • 2018-08-20

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 64 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wendy
  • 2018-09-02

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!

34 of 37 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dianna
  • 2018-08-21

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.

47 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • barbara
  • 2018-10-06

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.

53 of 60 people found this review helpful