If you enjoyed Della Owens' debut novel Where the Crawdads Sing, check out these titles that share many of the same themes and settings.
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Erica Bauermeister presents a moving and evocative coming-of-age novel about childhood stories, families lost and found, and how a fragrance conjures memories capable of shaping the course of our lives. The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we seek, and even help us find our way back home. Available to download: eBook and Audio
Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. The reader tracks Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, and watches, heart in throat, as she struggles to become her own hero--and in the process, becomes ours as well. Shot through with striking language in a fierce natural setting, My Absolute Darling is an urgently told, profoundly moving read that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer. Available to download: eBook and Audio
When Tartelin Brown accepts a job with the reclusive Marianne Stourbridge, she finds herself on a wild island with a mysterious history. Tartelin is tasked with hunting butterflies for Marianne's research. But she quickly uncovers something far more intriguing than the curious creatures that inhabit the landscape. Because the island and Marianne share a remarkable history, and what happened all those years ago has left its scars, and some terrible secrets. As Tartelin pieces together Marianne's connection to the island, she must confront her own reasons for being there. Can the two women finally face up to the painful memories that bind them so tightly to the past? Available to download: eBook
Fifteen-year-old Pearl is squatting in an abandoned boathouse with her father, a disgraced college professor, and two other grown men, deep in the swamps of the American South. All four live on the fringe, scavenging what they can--catfish, lumber, scraps for their ailing dog. Despite the isolation, Pearl feels at home with her makeshift family: the three men care for Pearl and teach her what they know of the world. Mason Boyd, aka "Main Boy," is from a nearby affluent neighborhood where he and his raucous friends ride around in tricked-out golf carts, shoot their fathers' shotguns, and aspire to make Internet pranking videos. While Pearl is out scavenging in the woods, she meets Main Boy, who eventually reveals that his father has purchased the property on which Pearl and the others are squatting. With all the power in Main Boy's hands, a very unbalanced relationship forms between the two kids, culminating in a devastating scene of violence and humiliation.
Brunt’s transcendent debut is an exploration of an unlikely friendship that blossoms in the wake of a terrible loss. It’s 1987, and 14-year-old June Elbus is reeling from the death of her beloved uncle Finn, a famous painter who has succumbed to AIDS. Shy and introspective, June preferred spending time with Finn, even as she tried to hide, from herself as much as others, her secret crush on him. Finn’s death leaves a gaping hole in June’s life, and she’s shocked when Toby, her uncle’s lover and the man her mother holds responsible for his death, makes a bid to fill that emptiness by contacting June secretly. Toby simply wants to get to know her and give her several gifts Finn left for her, and June starts to thaw toward him after she finds a note in a book from Finn imploring her to look after Toby. June’s burgeoning but covert friendship with Toby gives her new insight into Finn’s life but strains the already tenuous bond between her and her older sister, Greta. Available to download: eBook and Audio
Growing up in Antigua with her mother, Annie John feels like her life is perfect. But as she ages and the world begins to open up to her, cracks begin to appear at home. Tensions form between her and her mother, soulmates from school come and go, and a crushing illness brings Annie John to the realization that for her to have her own identity and live her life to the fullest, she must leave the paradise of her childhood behind.
Helena thought she had buried her early life so deeply that not even her husband was aware of her origins. But the news is unmistakable: a notorious murderer, kidnapper and rapist has escaped from prison, returning to the impenetrable marshes of Upper Michigan where he committed his crimes. Helena should know: he is also her father, and he held her mother and her in captivity in the marshes for years before she escaped. For the safety of her own family, Helena knows she's the only person who knows the secrets to life in the fens, and the only one who can confront her father and return him to justice.
Caroline and Father live in a bucolic park near Portland, Oregon, but their home is a secluded cave that the two venture from carefully so as not to attract attention from the wider world. Thirteen-year-old Caroline is happy with their routine, taking her education from encyclopedias and the natural world. But when Caroline makes a mistake and the authorities discover their home, the outside world comes crashing in. But 'regular' society isn't a good fit, and Father flees back to the mountains, despite Caroline's protests. As Father grows increasingly paranoid, Caroline must face hard truths in order to save them.
A drowning in a South Carolina river pits locals against a grieving family. When a vacationing girl drowns in the Tamassee River, her parents wish to set up a temporary dam to retrieve her body, stuck in a deep eddy. But locals, fearing the environmental effects of a dams on the wild and unspoiled river, resist their efforts. Photographer Maggie Glenn is assigned to the story, despite having sworn off returning to her hometown and her estranged father. Along with acclaimed reporter, her work helps to tip public sentiment--but it comes at a price.
Life on the Alaskan frontier in the 1920s is brutal, and for the childless Jack and Mabel, the isolation can be crushing. In a moment of levity, they build a snow child outside their cabin and wrap it in a scarf. The next day, the snow child and scarf are missing, but the couple instead spot a mysterious child flitting around their cabin. Is she a 'snow fairy' magicked out of the cold and their own imaginations? Or is she a wild child, adapted to the harsh environment? As Faina becomes more of a part of Jack and Mabel's lives, she underscores the importance of community and harsh realities of struggle in a unforgiving natural world.
In rural coastal Mississippi, there's not much legitemate work to find, and even less chance at making much money. For twins Christophe and Joshua, abandoned by their parents and raised by their grandmother, the pressure to support themselves and their families leads each to choose different work--one dockside work, the other drug dealing. As one twin decides to venture into more dangerous drugs, the tension between the two grows, culminating in the return of the twins' addict father and a violent confrontation.