I am extremely stingy with my compliments for good books, but this tale is well-deserving of the praise. Of the last dozen or so books I've read, only two others earned five complete stars by me: She Read to Us in the Late Afternoons: A Life in Novels by Kathleen Hill, and Circe by Madeline Miller.I have to confess that I have also had magical moments with marsh creatures such as herons, eagles, and mud turtles. Like the main character, Kya, I am a compulsive collector of treasures from those Great Rock Tumblers: the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean which makes this book so attractive to me. However, Delia Owens' writing is more than just about the natural world. She spins a good and very well-written tale about murder, courtroom drama, nature, poetry, and even love.Another reviewer described Owens' writing as lyrical. It is. Take your time and savor every sentence.