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Where the Crawdads Sing, a 2018 novel by Delia Owens, is a bestselling coming-of-age novel that combines elements of mystery and romance. The story is set in the marshes of North Carolina and follows the life of Kya Clark, known as the “Marsh Girl,” who is abandoned by her family and grows up isolated from society. The narrative alternates between two timelines, exploring Kya's journey into adulthood in the 1950s and early 1960s and a murder investigation several years later.

Where the Crawdads Sing combines rich descriptions of the natural world with the story of Kya’s coming-of-age adjacent to a town that can’t understand her. Owens’s story concerns what people can get from nature, what they need from one another, and the intersection and conflict between these two ideas.

When it was published, the novel gained widespread acclaim. Where the Crawdads Sing received broad praise for its evocative prose, atmospheric setting, and the portrayal of a strong, independent female protagonist. The novel has sold over ten million copies and was the subject of a film adaptation starring Daisy Edgar-Jones as Kya in 2022.

Explore the full plot summary, an in-depth character analysis of Kya Clark, and explanations of important quotes from Where the Crawdads Sing.

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