Mary Nell: The Secret (Coming Of Age Series Book 4)

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The relentlessly humane, Pulitzer-prize winning author returns to Crosby, Maine and her most beloved and unforgettable character: Olive Kitteridge. Available October This one follows aspiring poet Adam Gordon and his mother, a famous feminist author, as they reckon with personal and cultural crises. Now, she's trained her gifts on upending the memoir, sifting through the detritus of a volatile relationship. The spectacles found in her pages are surpassed only by her spectacular insight into the human condition.

In her eighth novel, she follows two siblings over fifty years as they wrestle with issues of class, inheritance, and the bonds of family. One of our fiercest and most indelible social critics bestows his first novel, a magical-realist, plantation-set story about a boy born into bondage who discovers he possesses a supernatural gift. Here, she turns her exacting eye on subjects such as the loneliest whale in the world and a Croatian museum filled with the effluvia of failed relationships.

Tayari Jones once said Woodson's characters are so vivid that readers can "feel their lips as they brush against your ear. Somehow, pages doesn't seem like enough to completely capture the absolutely indelible imprint Susan Sontag has left on American letters and culture. Such a towering figure deserves a towering tome, and Benjamin Moser—who sifted through Sontag's restricted archives and interviewed individuals usually mum on their relationship with the writer like say, Annie Leibovitz —has delivered.

Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in. His riveting latest spins a fictional story of race and coming-of-age from the real life travesties that occurred in a Florida reform school in the sixties and seventies. Molly, the protagonist of Phillips wildly captivating speculative thriller, is a paleobotanist and young mother of two. One night, an intruder donning a deer mask enters her home--an intruder that seems to know impossible things. Despite the harrowing and surreal feel of the story, you'll crave the next page.

A famous Pakistani writer and professor becomes stuck in the middle of a mother-daughter relationship, the latter of whom is his student, in this delightfully droll novel from the author of The Red Car. Now, Gilbert takes us to New York City in the glamorous s, where the sex was plentiful and showgirls just wanted to have fun. Vuong follows his astonishing poetry collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds , with a novel centered on the immense and complicated love a son has for his Vietnamese mother. A Pulitzer Prize finalist for her novel Swamplandia! Have your tissues handy. Type keyword s to search.

More Myself: A Journey. The Revisioners: A Novel. Available November 5. Olive, Again: A Novel. The Autobiography. How We Fight for Our Lives. Available October 8. The Topeka School: A Novel. Available October 1. In the Dream House: A Memoir. The Dutch House: A Novel. The Water Dancer: A Novel. She was so observant of the creatures in the marsh, studying their behaviors.

She mimicked what she saw in the wild in her own way. She was calculating, yes, but also desperate to stay safe I would guess that she planned it the night she slept in the reading cabin as she hid from Chase and noticed the praying mantis. This intrigues me, but I am super sensitive to incredibly sad stories.

I see a lot of people using variations on the word "heartbreaking" in their reviews. Does it end on a sad note? Amanda I'm very sensitive as well and had the same reserve about this book. It's sad in the beginning but it's incredibly beautiful and well written! I don't …more I'm very sensitive as well and had the same reserve about this book. I don't want to give any spoilers so I'll just say it doesn't end on a sad note : less. See all questions about Where the Crawdads Sing…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order.

Sep 11, Debra rated it it was amazing Shelves: traveling-friends-read. All the Stars!!!!! Can I just say that I loved everything about this book and leave it at that!?! Where the Crawdads Sing is a story of resiliency, survival, hope, love, loss, loneliness, desperation, prejudice, determination and strength. This book goes back and forth in time to tell the story of Kya Clark a. She lives on the outskirts of town, in the Marsh, and the locals look down their noses at her, she is judged, ridiculed and bullied. But there are those who show her kind All the Stars!!!!!

But there are those who show her kindness, friendship, and show her love. Oh, how I loved this book! Kya was a young girl when her Mother walked away without looking back. Soon, all her siblings followed suit, leaving Kya alone with her often absent, drunk, and abusive father. She is left to care for their home, to cook, clean and take care of both of their needs.

How her situation pulled on my heartstrings. She had to learn to shop, to cook and to provide food for herself in her father's absence. All while dealing with loneliness, feelings of abandonment and loss. Always wondering when and if her Mother will ever return. She was a smart and clever girl who knew the marsh and found ways to make money and provide for her basic needs. Soon 'Jumpin and his wife, Mable, show her kindness, generosity and love.

I dare you not to adore this couple! As Kya grows and learns more about life through her interactions with the creatures of the Marsh, two young men enter her life. One is her brother's older friend, Tate, who teaches her to read and shows her acceptance and happiness. Could one be her chance at happiness? A chance at belonging? A chance at being accepted? A chance at being loved? A Chance for growth? Or will history repeat itself? In , local football legend, Chase Andrews is found dead.

Rumors swirl as to motive and possible suspects. Rumors have been circulating for years about Chase and his involvement with the Marsh girl. Could she be his killer? What motive could she have? This book had a little bit of everything that I love: a likeable main character who pulls at your heartstrings, murder mystery, atmosphere, drama, coming of age, and romance. There are several characters who give and show kindness including, Tate, the cashier who gives back too much change and the couple who make sure Kya has what she needs.

What is the saying? Those that have the least to give, give the most! There is a police investigation and court room drama and some twists and turns I did not see coming. This book is beautifully written and contains poetry and vivid descriptions of the Marsh. I highly recommend this book! It's thoughtful, evokes emotion, and transports the reader back in time to the Marsh.

I loved every page.

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Read more of my reviews at www. View all 73 comments. Oct 10, JanB rated it it was ok Shelves: traveling-friends. You know that person? The one who doesn't like what everyone else seems to love? There has to be someone in the outlier club and this time it is me. I was highly anticipating this book after reading all the praise from readers whose tastes usually align with my own. Unfortunately, I should have DNF'd this one when very early in the book, my eyes glazed over and I began skimming pages and pages of descriptive writing.

The author is a nature writer and those sections were undoubtably well-written. And then there's poetry. I skipped over those as well. Everything other reviewers say they enjoyed were things I intensely disliked. I struggled with believability. To make things worse, romance is not a genre I enjoy and the romance in this book had a very YA feel to it.

Finally, I found the use of dialect distracting to read and often in the same paragraph a character would switch from local dialect to proper English. Sometimes my love of the story or the strength of the writing is enough for me to ignore implausibility and move past a few things I don't like.

This wasn't one of those times. Recommended for readers who enjoy long, descriptive nature writing, and those who have no trouble suspending disbelief. If I had known these things before starting this book I would have skipped it, so perhaps my review will help other readers like me. View all comments. Amy Lutzke I have to agree. I am listening to the audio and was going to give up after the 3rd CD but kept going. I personally need more characters and plot to k I have to agree. I personally need more characters and plot to keep me interested in a story.

Janis Gage This book has drawn a lot of positive and negative reviews but I am glad I am not alone in thinking the book was slow and sophomoric. Sep 23, Kristin KC - Traveling Sister rated it it was amazing Shelves: traveling-friends-read , literary-fiction , thriller , favorites. Although this story delivers one hell of a powerful punch, it is sculpted with quite a humble hand; a delicate wind that keeps building and building until it ends up emphatically blowing your mind. The writing. Yet it is not showy over 0ver-the-top but perfect. Owens doesn't tell us what to think, but alludes to each message through writing so alive you can almost hear it breathing.

She carries us through her dense, atmospheric tone and persuades us to seek and find; discover and examine, all on our own. She allows her striking imagery to guide us as the marsh has guided Kya, and I felt as though I could smell the sea and taste the sweetness of new love. I love the heart and soul that saturates every inch of this story, and more than anything, I LOVE that spectacularly bold ending! There were a few tedious moments where I thought this story might begin to drag and possibly not live up to its hype, but I was wrong, and this story was so, SO right.

View all 74 comments. Apr 24, Emily May marked it as dnf Shelves: , historical-fiction. I do realise with those numbers it is definitely me.


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I read all of Part 1 and the first chapter of Part 2, then I gave up at page Nothing seemed to be happening other than Kya fishing and cooking grits. There are lots of pretty nature metaphors like: Waves slammed one another, awash in their own white saliva, breaking apart on the shore with loud booms— energy searching for a beachhead.

Then they flattened into quiet tongues of foam, waiting for the next surge. It's funny. Usually when a book doesn't float my boat, I can still totally understand the hype. I wouldn't have called this one, though, I must admit. Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Amy Lutzke Not just you. Me too. I was as bored as Kya was lonely. A story of survival, of what the depth of loneliness feels like when a young girl is abandoned first by her mother, then her four siblings.

Even at five Kya understands why they left - because of her father, because of his meanness, his abuse, his drinking. It was gutting as she sits on the beach with the gull 4. It was gutting as she sits on the beach with the gulls not wanting them to fly away and leave her too.

Heartbreaking how she is neglected and abandoned, remembering the beatings, trying to figure out a way to eat. But is it enough to heal her? I love the writing, fabulous descriptions of the marsh. But is that enough to make Kya whole after so much hurt and loneliness? I gave it 4. But when I woke up thinking about this story, I knew I would round it up to 5 stars.

Overall it was such a fabulous read, heartbreaking in so many ways, with wonderful writing and characters, a stunning portrait of a place, of the trauma of loss and loneliness. My heart was always broken for Kya, a character to remember. An unforgettable ending. This was a monthly read with Esil and Diane and as always I appreciate their thoughts as we read together.

In this case, we have very similar feelings about this beautiful story. I received an advanced copy of this book from G. I'm typically skeptical of books that are hyped to high heavens and end up on every book club list for months straight, not because they aren't worthy, but because I can let my expectations get the best of me and keep me from fully enjoying a wonderful book. This book exceeded my already high expectations; it emanates a quiet power, a slow drawing in and connection of reader to book, one that I found myself able to get lost in due to the lush atmosphere and the depth of emotion.

I can see now wh I'm typically skeptical of books that are hyped to high heavens and end up on every book club list for months straight, not because they aren't worthy, but because I can let my expectations get the best of me and keep me from fully enjoying a wonderful book. I can see now why this book is getting so much attention, and am thrilled to see that for once the hype train was right on track. View all 33 comments. Alicia I have felt the depth of emotion too. Chelsea Humphrey Alicia wrote: "I have felt the depth of emotion too. I really enjoyed the parts of this book that were related to the marsh and the natural world, but the story itself did not wow me.

A nice fiction debut for Owens; just not my cuppa. View all 46 comments.


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For me to rate a book five stars it has to give me something bout of the ordinary, make me feel. Most of all it has to be a book or contain a character or characters that I won't forget. Above all it has to make me feel. This book did all three. Kya, aka Catherine Clark, the Marsh girl is an unforgettable character, abandoned by her mother at she six, her siblings shortly after. By ten she was alone in the Marsh raising herself, her main source of comfort the natural life found in the North Carolina Marsh, the gulls she fed daily.

She learned not to trust nor depend on anyone but herself. She was smart, curious, feArless and so lonely. As if this character wasn't enough to remember, there are also some supporting characters that play an integral part in her life. Jumpin and Mabel, a black couple that try to help Kya in whatever way she will accept. Tate, who has known her since she was small, teaches her to read anc much more.

What will one do in the face of such loneliness? How much will they sacrifice if they reach out, trust? Prejudice is a big theme, because as the Marsh girl she is considered illiterate, unclean, and none in the village reach out to help. There is of course a villian, who claims to love her, but marries another, breaking her heart. This is there another thread comes in, a story told in alternate chapters, as when he is murdered , she is accused.

Also where another wonderful character comes in, a man, 74 years old, a retired lawyer who comes out of retirement to defend her against a town that already assumes she is guilty. I could nitpick a few things, but I won't. I loved and learned much about the natural world, a different way of looking at things. On walks I take along the river I will look at things I ordinarily wouldn't. A survival story, what Kya has to do it not easy, but since she has little choice it is what she does.

Making the most of what one has, regardless of how little.


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More than one I had tears running down my face, so this gets five, big marshmallow stars from this reader. This was mine, Angela and Esils August read, and as always our reads and discussions are something in which I look forward. ARC from Edelweiss. View all 51 comments. View all 36 comments. Full review along with a few recipes for a decadent southern fried feast featured on my blog Recipe and a Read! When Kya Clark is 6 years old, she watches as her mother walks away from her, seemingly without a second thought. With the departure of their matriarch, the Clark family slowly but surely vanishes into the marsh that will become the only family Kya will ever know.

Her siblings leave shortly after her mother, leaving Kya alone with her father who ne 4.

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Her siblings leave shortly after her mother, leaving Kya alone with her father who negligent at best and abusive at worst. Nature had nurtured, tutored and protected her when no one else would. To say it was difficult is putting it in the absolute mildest terms. She has no education to speak of, she has no means to make money and she must rely on her whit and the lessons of the marsh and a few kind townspeople. As we see Kya grow, what really shows most brightly for me was her utter resilience.

As rumors entrench the town about what could have happened to Chase, what might have happened in his past with Kya things get sticky. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother. I really took my time reading this one, and while it did start off a little slow for me, what never wavered was the truly magnificent prose that Owen deals out with an incredibly deft hand.

Kya was bonded to her planet and its life in a way few people are. Rooted solid in this earth. Born of this mother. The marsh, the insects, the birds, the mud and the sand permeate this entire story. I read this with the Traveling Sisters and we all mostly ended up in the same coulee of being enamored with the beautiful writing and development of this story! View all 24 comments. That alone would be a great book but there is much more. There is a love story and mystery woven through the story, and add art and poetry to that and you have this incredible book.

At the beginning of the story we are introduced to Kya, a 6 year old little girl who has already been traumatized for life. Her mother leaves her father and the five children and never returns. Then slowly throughout some years her older siblings leave and then finally her brother whom she was very close to and her drunken father. They leave her completely alone in their falling down shack, no provisions and barely any clothing. She was only 14, she was completely alone and had no idea how to survive, but somehow she does. She learns to fish, cook and clean just by remembering how it used to be.

Barkley Cove, where she goes for groceries and gas has a store that is run by an extremely kind and generous couple who have lived on the marsh their entire life. She exchanges mussels and then smoked fish for gas for her motor and a few groceries. Mabel gives her used books, shoes, anything that she can get donated.

They were her only friends. Kya has two real love relationships in the book. Tate she has known all of her life but now that she is older she views him differently, she begins to feel real love. He teaches her how to read which opens up the world to her. He is in her life for quite a few years and she seems happy, her life is good. She loves the marsh and all that inhabit it. She collects many things and categorizes them. From the books Tate brings her she learns biology, math, how things grow and change and she is fascinated by the marsh.

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The author describes the marshland so well I felt myself transported there, felt the humid air, the squashing feel when I walked and encountering all of the creatures described in this book. She shares things with Chase, a boy from town who tells her he loves her, talks about a future. But everyone always leaves Kya. Oh my gosh this review is too long and there is so much more to say.

There is beautiful poetry and paintings that I felt I could see. Read this book, you will be wonderfully surprised, entranced and feel great about a book again. View all 53 comments. Nov 10, Jessica Woodbury rated it it was ok Shelves: audiobooks. All of you talked me into reading this book.

The Goodreads reviews were virtually unanimously good, not just good, great. It had to be good, I thought. And because I needed an extra audiobook I bought it on Libro. Bad decision. This book is just a pile of tropes and cliches dressed up in some nice nature writing. The plot is not much of a plot and the mystery makes up only a small section of the book, and much of it ends up being courtroom scenes and not much All of you talked me into reading this book.

The plot is not much of a plot and the mystery makes up only a small section of the book, and much of it ends up being courtroom scenes and not much mystery. We spend a long time with young Kya, abandoned, fending for herself, almost entirely isolated. I was willing to be patient through all that, to see what kind of person she would grow into because that had the potential to be very interesting.

Except it was not. It became less interesting the longer I read. Because Kya doesn't act like a person who has been almost entirely isolated. She just acts like a regular loner. Sure, she may have some habits that fit with her strange upbringing, but she seems to understand people and language just like a regular person. I was nearly out of my head with frustration that the book had spent so long telling me how different she was only to have her be just the same as most people.

Deciding to never love again because everyone leaves you is a pretty regular-person thing to do when you're in your 20's, for example. This isn't a book of deep psychological insight. You can probably guess from a couple of chapters in how it will end. And you would be right! There are no real revelations, the plot is pretty obvious ahead of time.

And it's all rather confusing because there are sections where Owens writes well, her courtroom scenes are actually quite competent, but on both the broad strokes and the specific details nothing here really rings true. And the more time that passed the more I got annoyed with this book so it finally fell from 3-stars to a rare 2-star review. I usually quit a 2-star book.

If you're going to give me a plot I've seen a thousand times, at least wrap it in some keen insight or character development. But sadly this was a failure for me all around. View all 40 comments. Kim Van orden Your comments are interesting! What would the author needed to have had Kya do to demonstrate she was isolated versus a just a loner? Jul 02, PM. Ellen Goldman I have to agree. Once I read the amateurish dialogue, the book was lost to me. The beautiful descriptions of nature were what keep me reading, however I have to agree. The beautiful descriptions of nature were what keep me reading, however.

Library Overdrive Audiobook I plan to buy the physical book, too. I want to re-read many of the sentences - see them in written book form This book could easily become a modern classic! The prose is so outstanding — gorgeous— that the smells and visuals of the wildlife — made me feel as if I was there too. Listening to this novel while being outside —surrounded by plants -birds - squirrels- trees- and water myself- added reminders of respect for the world around us Our human energy is tantalizingly free in ways it never is when indoors behind our computers and other technical devices.

The Audiobook narrator -Cassandra Campbell, completely transported me to this world. She used many different inflections for each character. I wanted to know Tate Walker and Jumper She was not only abandoned by her family - but so many in her town rejected her. Abandonment as a child - hours upon hours of a solitary life Kya Clark is tenacious- brave - resilient- an indomitable heroine The circumstances of her unfortunate family inheritance is heartbreaking enough And how is it possible - and why - for heavens sake would a little girl kill an older bigger football player, Andrew Chase?

I had no idea I was about to read about a murder mystery We witness Kya out-shine her neglectful youth. Really emotionally moving!!! Mystery murder - suspense - coming of age - occasional cuisine meals to remember- Nature at its best Gulls as friends A little romance What in the world will she write next?

View all 70 comments. Kya ran to the porch, watching her mother walking down the sandy lane in her fake alligator skin heels, her only going out pair, holding a blue train case. She never wore those heels and she never carried a case. That was the last time Kya saw her Ma. There has been fights before and Ma has left several times but she always came back. Over the next few weeks, Kya's oldest brother and two sisters left too. They were tired of Pa's red faced rages, which started out as shouts, then escalated into f Kya ran to the porch, watching her mother walking down the sandy lane in her fake alligator skin heels, her only going out pair, holding a blue train case.

They were tired of Pa's red faced rages, which started out as shouts, then escalated into fist slugs or backhanded punches. His weekly disability checks were their only income. Her Pa eventually left her too at a very young age and Kya was all by herself. She lived in the marsh all by herself.

She went to school once but she was teased and never went back. Steve and Benji saw a body laying in the mud.

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A man was laying flat on his back. Benji noticed it was Chase Andrews. They ride their bikes fast to the Sheriff's office. They let the sheriff know that they saw Chase Andrews flat out in the swamp under the fire tower. They let him know that he looked dead. The sheriff and the Dr.

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None going toward the stairs or away from the stairs, none around the body and Chase Andrews footprints weren t there either. No footprints were found anywhere. This then turns into a murder mystery. I just loved the setting of this book, in the marsh. I loved the atmosphere and just felt that I was there. The descriptions of the environment, the scenery and nature was just beautiful. I am a bird watcher and loved her descriptions of the birds feathers. I also loved the mystery and suspense also.

I really loved her writing style. Her writing was so beautuful. I just wanted to savor it. This was an easy five star rating for me. It just Wowed me. I loved the characters. I loved Kya the best. I loved Tate too, who taught Kya how to read and other subjects.

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