Nature-inspired Where the Crawdads Sing is being adapted into a film

Naomi Gordon
·2-min read
Photo credit: Amazon
Photo credit: Amazon

From Country Living

Exciting news for fans of Delia Owens' debut novel Where The Crawdads Sing – Reese Witherspoon is adapting the 2018 bestseller into a film through her production company Hello Sunshine.

The vivid and affecting novel is a nature-infused coming-of-age murder mystery, set in the oppressive marshlands near a small town on the stunning North Carolina coast.

Told through the eyes of an abandoned young girl named Kya Clark in the 1950s, the story details the fragility of nature, the complex ecosystems of the marshes and poignant depictions of the surrounding wildlife, including the loyal gulls which prevent Kya from succumbing to total isolation.

Photo credit: Digital Light Source - Getty Images
Photo credit: Digital Light Source - Getty Images

Its rich descriptions of preserved nature and a wild and unruly habitat also leaves us wondering what it may look like today some seven decades later, and reminds us of the importance of conservation and protecting our planet. The novel touches on the racial segregation and social division of the 50s and 60s, which resonates today with powerful protests against racial injustice across the world.

Kya has learned to live in the wild and survive off the coast. Using her acute knowledge to write and illustrate books on undiscovered local flora and fauna, she becomes a respected and revered author.

But before long, she becomes embroiled in the murder of a local man who had infiltrated Kya's enclosed and secluded way of life. Featuring a compelling love story, a thrilling twist and clever whodunnit element, Where the Crawdads Sing is ultimately a celebration and ode to nature and the bravery and resilience of a powerful heroine.

The novel is the first fictional novel from 71-year-old author Delia Owens, who is co-writer of three internationally bestselling books about her life a is a wildlife scientist in Africa, including Cry of the Kalahari. Owens has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, The African Journal of Ecology and International Wildlife, among others. The award-winning writer holds a BS in Zoology and a PHD in animal behaviour.

Photo credit: William Campbell - Getty Images
Photo credit: William Campbell - Getty Images

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Big Little Lies star Witherspoon will adapt the book - which she promoted in her book club – with Olivia Newman, who wrote and directed Netflix feature First Match, directing the project.

Speaking about the novel, Witherspoon said: "I can't express how much I love this book! I didn't want this story to end."

Oscar-nominated Beasts of the Southern Wild's Lucy Alibar is writing the screenplay.

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