Where the Crawdads Sing

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What to expect

#1 New York Times Bestseller

A Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick

“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.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Celeste Ng, 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.

Critics Review

  • 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

    New York Times Book Review
  • Part murder-mystery, part coming-of-age novel, its evocation of the marshland and its inhabitants is as unforgettable as Kya herself. A story of loneliness, survival and love that’s as engrossing as it is moving

    Daily Mail
  • For a debut the prose is impressively accomplished . . . A Hollywood film seems inevitable. Yet it will be hard to match on screen the delicacy of Owens’s exploration of the natural world. Kya and her magical little world are a rare achievement

    The Times
  • Kya is a compelling character, Owen’s descriptive prose is lushly impressive, and the twist in the narrative’s tail is neat

    Sunday Times Culture
  • Owens combines high tension with precise detail about how people dress, sound, live and eat – the case studies in her book are both human and natural . . . Surprise bestsellers are often works that chime with the times. Though set in the 1950s and 60s, Where the Crawdads Sing is, in its treatment of racial and social division and the fragile complexities of nature, obviously relevant to contemporary politics and ecology. But these themes will reach a huge audience though the writer’s old-fashioned talents for compelling character, plotting and landscape description

    the Guardian
  • For sheer escapism pick up Where The Crawdads Sing . . . there is writing that takes your breath away

    The Times (separate review)

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