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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.
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- Outstanding performance! Review by Tanya D
I absolutely loved the narration. The voice for Kya Clark is PERFECT. I am so glad I chose to listen to this one. The narration absolutely transports you to this world.
The writing is beautiful and captivating. I wanted to listen to the story at all times. Kya Clark is an unforgettable character, so exquisitely brought to life. However the ending felt a little rushed to me. I finished the book questioning if I knew all I wanted to know. After considerable thought, it is quite clear that I do. (Sorry trying not to give spoilers, so this may be ambiguous until you read it).
With that being said, my critiques are minor. It is a fantastic novel, and I would definitely recommend it.
(Posted on 6/9/2019)
- This is by far one of the best, if not the best Review by Seattle blues
This was a wonderful Audio 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.
(Posted on 5/25/2019)
- CAN'T PUT DOWN Review by Kayla Behrend
This is the most captivating book I've read in years. Feral human turns brilliant and I was beyond captivated. This was all the love and suspense you could need.
(Posted on 5/19/2019)
- Amazing, as beautiful as nature Review by RebDi
It’s difficult to decide where to start: the story, characters, setting, descriptions of the coastal world, and the narration combine to make this Audio book experience so memorable and enjoyable. Cassandra Campbell’s narration is beautiful. I am not well acquainted with Carolina accents, but Campbell’s inflections seemed believable and allowed the reader to feel immersed in that marsh world. Her gentle Kya voice helped bring both the child and the adult to life. Somehow she managed to differentiate the speech of each character and to capture personalities perfectly. And the characters were so well-drawn that I felt as though I would recognize them if I saw them.
My favorite aspect of the book was the marsh itself, and Owens’s knowledge of the ecosystem— the birds, grasses, trees, shells, and waters. I plan to buy the hardcover to reread those many sections again. Her references to Aldo Leopold and to other foundational environmental literature seemed as natural as Kya herself. There is no overt campaign here to save the wetlands, though they are as sensitive and threatened as Kya.
The plot itself isn’t unique or original, and it’s easy to predict where things are headed. It doesn’t matter. I was unsure of the resolution till the end. However, I’m not sure I loved the ending. I think it went at least one page—maybe one chapter—too far. I won’t say more.
(Posted on 5/19/2019)
- I don't think I will ever forget this book Review by miriam
sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about work or other things but I don't ever remember in all my years waking up to think about a book. And to ponder what had happened to the character and what might be happening next. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
(Posted on 5/14/2019)
- Naive, young-adult fiction Review by barbara
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.
(Posted on 5/14/2019)
- One Of The Best Ever! Review by kathy s.
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!
(Posted on 4/30/2019)
- Didn't love this! Review by Violet
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.
(Posted on 2/25/2019)
- So good. So, SO good. Review by HelloMellow
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.
(Posted on 2/18/2019)
- DO NOT MISS THIS READ/LISTEN! Review by Dianna
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.
(Posted on 2/17/2019)
- Beautiful Review by Wendy
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!
(Posted on 2/17/2019)
- Felt like I was there... Review by Linda Ottey
...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!
(Posted on 2/16/2019)
- ✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫ Review by Cyndi
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.
(Posted on 2/16/2019)
- Took my Breath Away Review by Tammy Goad
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.
(Posted on 2/15/2019)