2020 Longlist

Where the Crawdads Sing


2020 Longlist

For years, rumours of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. 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.

A heart-breaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder, Where the Crawdads Sing reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were.

About the Author

Delia Owens is the co-author of three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa. She has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, The African Journal of Ecology, and International Wildlife, among many others. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.

Librarian’s Comments

This book is beautifully written with strong character and story building. The story is heartbreaking, yet hopeful as the main character builds a life for herself, against all odds.  It is set in the late 1960’s in North Carolina, USA and the author does a great job of portraying the political and societal nature of the time period without being preachy or subversive. This book still has me thinking about it and wanting to discuss it with other people. Laramie County Library System, USA

This book came out late in 2018 so the library checkout numbers aren’t as high as others, but it is easily the most popular fiction book right now with a high waitlist. By the end of this summer it will surpass the other two books we nominated (An American Marriage by Tayari Jones and The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah) as most popular from 2018 at our library. Iowa City Public Library, USA




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