Where the Crawdads Sing

By Delia Owens,

Book cover of Where the Crawdads Sing

Book description

OVER 12 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
A NUMBER ONE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

For years, rumours 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…

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Why read it?

46 authors picked Where the Crawdads Sing as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Remember a few years ago when this book was everywhere? I do! And it was deserved—Delia Owens created a memorable heroine in Kya, a loner who lives in the tidal lands of the North Carolina coast.

Owens, a zoologist, calls upon her impressive knowledge of flora and fauna as she sets up a murder mystery, and the novel's finale is both satisfying and memorable. I’ve never read another book quite like this one.

From Emerald's list on take place in America’s deep South.

I fell in love with this unique nature-drama-thriller-mystery novel from the first sentence. I know Hemingway taught us the art of the simple sentence, but Delia shows us that Ernest didn’t know everything about writing…or life, for that matter. 

This wonderful tale had me lingering over the delicious descriptions (of all things) of swampland marshes, and at the same time, impatient to see how the story ends for Kya Clark, the clever and yet fragile Swamp Girl. A-plus all around! 

I love historical fiction, especially when authors throw in a touch of crime. So, that’s what first drew me to this book.

What kept me reading and what made me rank this novel so highly is the gradual unlayering of the main character as the story progresses. Sure, Kya is a victim and a survivor, but she is so much more, and she is capable of more than I could have anticipated. As in some of my other favorite novels, it’s that loyalty to human nature, the understanding that circumstances can make good choices wrong and poor choices right, that…

From Lori's list on thrillers with twists.

Feral Maril & Her Little Brother Carol

By Leslie Tall Manning,

Book cover of Feral Maril & Her Little Brother Carol

Leslie Tall Manning Author Of Maggie's Dream

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Mentor Laugher Research nut Avid reader

Leslie's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Winner of the Literary Titan Book Award

Bright but unassuming Marilyn Jones has some grown-up decisions to make, especially after Mama goes to prison for drugs and larceny. With no one to take care of them, Marilyn and her younger, mentally challenged brother, Carol, get tossed into the foster care system. While shuffling from one home to another, Marilyn makes it her mission to find the Tan Man, a mysterious man from her babyhood she believes holds the key to her family’s happiness.

But Marilyn’s quest is halted when her daddy, an ex-con she has never met, is chosen by…

Feral Maril & Her Little Brother Carol

By Leslie Tall Manning,

What is this book about?

Bright but unassuming Marilyn Jones has some grown-up decisions to make, especially after Mama goes to prison for drugs and larceny. With no one to take care of them, Marilyn and her younger, mentally challenged brother, Carol, get tossed into the foster care system. While shuffling from one home to another, Marilyn makes it her mission to find the Tan Man, a mysterious man from her babyhood she believes holds the key to her family's happiness.

But Marilyn's quest is halted when her daddy, an ex-con she has never met, is chosen by the courts as the new guardian. Caleb…


I love being in the swampy marsh of the Carolinas, as the author takes us with the character through the waters on her boat; the big night sky, and all the stars as we listen to the crawdads sing.

I really liked the characters and how first love ends up being true love. This is a beautifully written story, almost like poetry. 

I was scared and saddened by this book but by the end, I was cheering because there is power in being able to overcome obstacles that are through no fault of your own, that are chucked at you by the ones who are supposed to know better.

I’m also a sucker for a good love story. 

I have never been as deeply impacted by a novel as I was by this absolute masterpiece!

I was so captivated by this coming-of-age story about young Kaya that I have kept coming back to it. I was captivated not only by her development but also by the challenges she faced as the orphaned ‘marsh girl.’

I not only read it (twice) but listened to it as an audiobook and watched Rees Witherspoon’s film version (twice). I have never done this for any book before. It’s one of the very few novels that has moved me to tears. It’s a…

At first, the story of an impoverished young girl growing up in the North Carolina marshes did not appeal to me, regardless of how much my friends raved about the author’s captivating style of writing. I shelved the book at the bottom of my TBR list and moved on. What a mistake!

Two years later, when I finally cracked this book open, I discovered a story told with such incomparable eloquence and compassion that I immediately began touting it as one of the best books I’ve ever read. And the best part is that this beautifully told story revolves around…

I really couldn’t put this book down because I found both the characters and the story fascinating.

I’ve read a lot of stories about dysfunctional families, but this had something more heart-warming to it, combined with the mystery and the intertwined plotlines. I also liked that everything wasn’t obvious and that I had time to think and try to solve the mystery – as well as the mystery may not being entirely solved by the end of the book.

I love this book because the main character, Kya, overcomes hardships no child should have to endure.

Having to raise herself, she’s an outcast in society, yet she finds strength in her solitude and through her interactions with nature. As she matures, certain love interests provide intrigue.

A mysterious death—or was it murder?—kept me guessing until the end, and the ending is completely satisfying. All of the characters in this engaging story are people I know I’ve met over the years... the good ones and the not-so-good ones.

I identified more deeply with Kya—whom the locals call “the marsh girl”—than with any character in my long reading career. The thing that speaks to me is her isolation and that she overcomes so many obstacles that would have crushed most people’s spirits.

She is abandoned by her parents when very young, lives alone in the marsh and learns to make a living from the marsh, educates herself despite being driven from public school on her first day, and ultimately because of her intelligence and knowledge of the plants and animals that live in the marsh she is able to…

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