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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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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

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!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Loved It

I loved it! the story was so intriguing and unique. The performance was astounding. I couldn't stop listening.

1 of 1 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

I loved every moment of this book<br />

It's been awhile since a book made me cry out loud. Kya had me cheering for her from the start, and crying with pride for her every step of the way. this book did not disappoint me in any way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kim
  • 2018-09-19

Disappointed

Not going to call this a mystery: it is only a mystery if you are a turnip. The foreshadowing is so heavy handed I felt like I got clipped upside the head. There was some lovely writing in this book and the main plot line had great potential but I was so fed up with the main character I could have howled in protest. This was horrifically overwritten as if the author was afraid the reader would be, well, a turnip. On the plus side, I enjoyed the description of the marsh and the wildlife but I am afraid all of two legged mammals in the novel were about as subtle as cartoons. Made for a very jarring read with the lovely layered marsh as a background and great galumphing cartoon figures running around all over it.
#Audible1

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Spellbinding story!

This book was beautifully written. I cannot wait to see this story on the big screens!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

This was my first audio book. What a perfect choice. The narrator was excellent, bringing the finely crafted characters to life. It's a wonderful story that kept me coming back for more. Powerful and touching. I highly recommend it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jo
  • 2019-01-14

Listen to this one.

Loved this book! Beautifully written with a captivating story. The narration was entrancing. I was sad it ended.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful imagery and writing

This book was beautifully written and I loved the little girl from the moment we meet her until the very end as well at the people who cared for her as best they could.

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

Written as a Love Poem

Beautiful story and incredible narration!
The natural life of the marsh becomes a world if its own and Kya lives a full life within it. The story, though unfolding slowly at times, kept me hoping Kya and Tate would get together throughout. The ending tied all the pieces together.!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

112 of 117 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.

288 of 303 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cyndi
  • Beautiful Michigan
  • 2018-10-04

✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫

What an interesting story! I found myself wanting to speed up this audiobook so I could see where it was going. The story of Kya's life was hard and heartbreaking but it was honest and gritty. You can't help but feel incredibly sad for her and the life she was left. Never feeling good enough, feeling abandoned and still she made the very best out of what she given. I loved that she found her way even in a unconventional way. The ending was very satisfying even if it was a little predictable. With all that, I still have to say that this book was a little slow for me. It would pick up and keep me enthralled then it would slow down and drag before it picked up again.

The narration was good. Cassandra Campbell is a great narrator but I will admit that I didn't feel her voice for Kya at all. I thought she would be a little more wild rather than wispy.

32 of 33 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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  • 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.

140 of 148 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

266 of 284 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!

52 of 56 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 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.

69 of 75 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    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.

57 of 62 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!

61 of 67 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.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful