A novel by Delia Owens has recently been in the spotlight for its recognition on the New York Times bestsellers list. Where the Crawdads Sing is a mix of a lot of different genres including mystery and bildungsroman, and in 2018, caught the eye of Reese Witherspoon who recently announced her plans to make it into a movie. It came in at number one in 2019 and 2020 for The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers and in 2019 was the most sold fiction book.
In this novel, Kya Clark is a six-year-old girl living in North Carolina with her family. After being abandoned by her mother, she awaits the day that her mother will return. As her father struggles with his drinking addiction, he slowly pushes away Kya’s four older siblings who end up fleeing the unstable household and leaving Kya by herself. “Pa” as he is referred to, takes a break from drinking after losing almost all of his family but quickly falls back into his old ways when he receives a letter from “Ma.” When Pa disappears for good, Kya learns to fend for herself and grows a deeper connection with the world around her. Wildlife and nature consume her interests as she cuts off her ties with her old community. She is nicknamed “The Marsh Girl,” and made fun of by her schoolmates. When she grows close with an old friend of her sisters named Tate, he teaches her how to read and write but before leaving for college, their lives, his of civilization, and hers of independence will never coincide.
In 1965, Kya is tied up in a murder. After meeting Chase Andrews, a star quarterback who showed interest in her, the two formed a romantic relationship. After persistently asking Kya to have sex, Chase tells Kya he sees her in his future ultimately urging Kya to lose her virginity to Chase. After discovering Chase is engaged to be married, Kya cuts off their relationship on bad terms. When her childhood friend, Tate returns home from college, he pushes Kya to publish a reference book about her seashell collection. It had always been a passion of hers as well as other encapturing elements of nature. Just when her life is starting to look up, she is framed for the murder of Chase Andrews.