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This book grabbed me right from the get go. It is about a ten year old girl who lives in the marsh land outside a small North Carolina town. She has been abandoned by her mother, brothers and sisters and abusive father. She learns to fend for herself and stays living in the shack she was born in. The story goes on about the few relationships she develops and how she is shunned by the towns people, being called "the marsh girl". Then a murder occurs and her world is turned upside down. I recommend this book!! I really enjoyed it and looked forward to when I could get back to it.
An exquisite read, near perfection. Full of emotions, good and bad, and of birds and other parts of nature. I was transported to the coastline of North Carolina and didn’t want to leave. A story of resilience, of learning from nature, of love, and a good mystery to boot.
Stunning, magical and just wonderful. The type of book that does not come around often and marks the heart for life...
After taking this home a few times I finally took the plunge and read it over two nights as I could not put it down. Within just a few chapters you'll admire Kya's resilience and root for her to overcome her circumstances! Highly recommend for ages 13+
This is as good as everyone says. It has been on the bestseller list for years. It is the author's first novel and she is over 60. A mystery, a love story, a unique look at a coastline ecosystem, and a lesson in acceptance and tolerance. I couldn't stop reading it.
I will add a short review because this book has so many reviews. I usually avoid best sellers, but this book has been on the lists for so long, I thought I'd give it a try. It was not a powerful read, the plot was diluted, and some of the writing was a little contrived. But I enjoyed the book. Although this is partially about abandonment, I found it to be a tribute to the power of reading. That's why I read, and that's why I admire this effort. It transported me to the marshlands of North Carolina.
This debut novel reads like a mash-up of Educated and Wuthering Heights. To blend the stories, the author provides a made-for-movies murder trial as the tantalizing secondary plot to pull us through to the end. Crawdads indicts developers who ruin the natural environment in the name of progress and condemns short-sighted townsfolk who can’t transcend their narrow prejudices. It elevates the pure souls who find each other in the end. But, for me, fidelity is the book’s universal theme: Kaya’s loyalty to a family that leaves her, a first boyfriend who spends his life making up for infidelity, Chase paying with his life for jilting her, Jumpin’ and Mable for their unwavering connection. Its characters tend toward stereotypes, the plot is melodrama, and the murder plot outcome is disappointingly contrived, with no plausible explanation of how it could be so and how the authorities missed it. Still, it’s a good read, weighty enough to be meaningful but light enough to be quick and entertaining.
I found the plot farfetched to say the least. Yet it gave me interesting dreams. I enjoyed reading this book as a fine fairy tale.
Loved, loved, loved this book. A friend handed it to me saying “read this!” Well worth every minute. Couldn’t put it down. Not only is the story different and quite unique, but the telling of it! The viewpoint, the shift in time, the parallel progression of the tale, nothing is superfluous, every detail is essential to the story ... the insects mating, the poetry. The ending is on every page of the book for those who read with attention. No sooner do we wonder how, than the narrator has the answer. Imaginative? Yes, but isn’t that what literature is all about ? Read the author’s background and you will appreciate and understand the story better... not necessary but helpful.
I enjoyed this book a lot. It made me think of how we as a society stigmatize people. The book had twists and turns I did not expect.
I got the feel of marsh life. At times it seemed a little unbelievable. But maybe not. We all live in different worlds that maybe people from another world cannot understand.
This is indeed chick-lit reading. It is difficult to suspend my disbelief in the novel that assumes a 10 year old could be abandoned by an American town to live alone in the marshes. It is also impossible to believe that the grandparents or elder siblings would not have come back to check on the younger ones. It was a whimsical story with a few dark turns and a contrived murder trial that really makes this story jump the shark. Ok for beach reading but i would not recommend to someone looking for a good book.
The story isn't very complex but I was sucked in after about 75 pages. Also, it's a great story for this moment in #MeToo time. I don't read much fiction now, but I'm guessing it's mostly a chick novel.
As of 01/20/20 there were 251 people waiting for this book, and for good reason. I came across it in The Lucky Day collection at Copley. Check there frequently if you don’t want to wait and perhaps skip the line. If not, buy it. It’s that good. The story is not without some flaws. Some of it was quite a stretch actually. The takeaway question brought up towards the end was a pause for reflection. Do we exclude people because we deem them different, or are people different because they’re excluded?
Wonderful. Heartbreaking, heart encouraging and round again landing on a soft spot for the heart. A book to re-read once a year, when you are aching for a touch of the Southern warm evenings to fill your soul.
Professional detail beautifully written. I had to keep reminding myself Kya is just a fictional character.
There was so much hoopla about this novel, that I read it with trepidation. All too often the biggest sellers are the biggest trash. I tried to like it, but I could not. The only way one could believe in this book is to regard it as a fairy tale, complete with a big bad wolf. Are we supposed to believe that a 7 year old girl could survive on her own in a hostile marsh land environment? That an abusive father and an air in the clouds mother taught her enough that she is a better naturalist than people with education? That a young man teaches her the alphabet and rudimentary words and she becomes a published woman of letters? That the truant officer allows her to never go to school? That social services ignores her? That the stereotypical man and woman of color are the only "human beings" in the town? I was just about to quit because I was wondering how she could live on the land without paying any taxes. Wouldn't you know, suddenly she has the sophistication to check on a deed and she has enough money to pay for 30 years of back taxes. And of course, no "popular" novel can be successful without turning into a romance. She could not live her life of published expert without falling in love with a predatory man. If she is smart enough to publish books, we are to believe that her years of isolation and abandonment has destroyed her judgment. Sorry, this first time novelist cannot have it both ways. Of course her prince comes back and they live happily ever after - end of fairy tale. Actually the only parts of the book I like were some of the passages about nature and the ending. Sorry, but I cannot recommend this book. Kristi & Abby Tabby
My top pick for 2019 is the story of the wild and free spirited Kya. Kya lives an isolated existence in the marsh land of the North Carolina coast. She becomes so intertwined with her environment that the environment becomes both her solace and her education. As a nature enthusiast I love the detailed descriptions of the flora and fauna of the salt marshes. A reflection of the author's (Delia Owens) background as a wildlife scientist. The novel has elements of mystery (the story begins with the discovery of a body in the Marsh lands) romance and even a courtroom thriller interlude. It is a beautiful yet haunting story that completely captivated me.
I was so disappointed in this book. I'd waited weeks for it after hearing people at work talk about it. It really is only a step above a Nicholas Spark's story and you don't really care that much about any of the characters. I agree with another reviewer here who said it relies completely on backwater southern stereotypes.
It seems the authors was more intent on showing you she'd done her research on the ecosystem of the area rather than developing the characters and writing a plausible story. It often reads more as a term paper than a novel.
I don’t concur with all of the glowing reviews. I appreciated the unique premise—a blend of nature-writing, coming-of-age tale, and murder mystery—but I found the writing a bit stilted and inauthentic, especially the dialogue. On the surface, some of the characters seemed complex, but once I dug in a bit, they seemed one-dimensional. That said, it was an enjoyable enough read; I probably would have liked it better had my expectations not been so high because of all the hype.
A moody piece! Kaya turns to the only thing she can count on, the marsh. Her adventures lead her to the ultimate tragedy and near incarceration. She is then rescued by her lifelong relationships Unexpectedly. A story of abandonment and recovery.
Excellent read ... descriptions of nature and living in nature were compelling, complete with a surprise ending!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was written by a scientist (zoologist) and it shows. The details about the natural world and poetry were beautiful. I was intrigued by the discussions of trauma and how it affects humans and relationships. This was refreshingly different compared to many of the other popular fiction books I've read over the past several years.
What others view as plot holes, I feel were intentional to get you thinking. As for what others felt were awful stereotypes, well stereotypes are often founded in truths; just be intelligent enough to understand that stereotypes don't apply to everyone. I very much appreciate the lessons in humanity that the author shares.