Where the Crawdads Sing: a tale whose core is motherhood

Delia Owens’s best-selling novel revolves around love and a murder mystery

Delia Owens: her novel follows Kya, a young girl abandoned to the North Carolina marsh, intertwined with the case of Chase Andrews, a man found dead in a swamp. Photograph: William Campbell/Corbis via Getty

Delia Owens: her novel follows Kya, a young girl abandoned to the North Carolina marsh, intertwined with the case of Chase Andrews, a man found dead in a swamp. Photograph: William Campbell/Corbis via Getty

“And then, Kya, only six at the time, heard the screen door slap . . .Who had left the shack? Not Ma. She never let the door slam . . . But when Kya ran to the porch, she saw her mother in a long brown skirt, kick pleats nipping at her ankles, as she walked down the sandy lane in high heels.”

The departure of a mother sets in motion one of the best selling, and most curious books of 2019. Part-murder mystery, part-love story, part-coming of age tale, Where the Crawdads Sing (out in paperback this month) follows the story of Kya, a young girl abandoned to the North Carolina marsh, intertwined with the case of Chase Andrews, a man found dead in a nearby swamp.

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