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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Manhattan chapter.

By Angelica Niedermeyer

Chillingly beautiful, Where The Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens tells the story of the “marsh girl,” or Kya, who was abandoned by her family to live on her own in the North Carolina marshlands. Bullied by the town for being an outsider, she is pushed away from society, finding safety in the trees and with the gulls. As she comes to be a wildly alluring woman faced with the highs and lows of love, she finds herself as the prime suspect for a murder.

However, as the new movie, directed by Olivia Newman, brought in $67 million to the box office, controversy sprang as the author of the book, herself was rumoured to be involved with a murder of a poacher in Zambia. Although no one was charged, the gossip has sparked interest in readers as Owen’s novel has over 15 million  copies since its release. 

Another reason for the Where The Crawdads Sing buzz is Taylor Swift’s “Carolina” song, which was originally written for the movie. The song plays during the credits, so if you are waiting the 2 hours and 5 minutes to listen to Swift’s haunting lullaby, you are going to have to wait awhile.

The mesmerizing coming-of-age tale was brought to the big screen by Reese Witherspoon, who produced and acquired the rights to rewrite the novel after reading it as part of her online book club, according to Image magazine in this article.

So, let’s get down to it. Spoilers ahead! 

The book and the movie have the same journey of jumping back and forth from the murder trial in 1969 to Kya growing up throughout 1950s to the time of the trial, then revealing a twist in the final moments. Here is a list of events that were adapted differently in the film. 

Chase’s Engagement 

Instead of learning that her second love Chase Andrews is engaged in the newspaper, “Pearl” introduced herself as Chase’s fiancé when the group met in town. Although this seems like a small change, seeing the portrayal of Chase act as a couple with his fiancé and Kya’s reaction was more interesting and cinematic than Kya being alone in her kitchen.

Kya = Amanda Hamilton

In the book, Kya has a love for a known poet Amanda Hamilton, who Tate comes to find is actually Kya. However, in the movie this narrative is completely gone as Hamilton is never mentioned. This was sad to not see because of how much Kya spoke through her emotions in the poetry to make sense of her troubled life. However, the film leaving it out makes the story more cut and clean, still with the same startling twist.

The Ending 

The shell necklace that was worn by Chase Andrews and taken off of him the night he died was found by Tate in the back of a journal and not the floorboard as the book says. At this moment, the book also reveals that Kya is Amanda Hamilton with a poem about female insects having to kill their mates, assuming her confession. The journal was probably more accessible for Tate to find, so it seems strange Kya would not hide it somewhere deep like the floorboard if she did not want to be found out. 

Regardless, the movie was packed with love, heartbreak, grief, and revenge just as the book promised. It almost came close, but the book still has a place in my heart as a first love, just like Tate to Kya. 

Angelica is so excited to be the leader of this chapter as Campus Correspondent at Her Campus at Manhattan! Originally from the Jersey Shore, Angelica is a senior at Manhattan College studying communication with a concentration in journalism and a minor in French. Angelica is also Features Editor of the campus newspaper The Quadrangle, Fashion and Beauty Editor of Lotus Magazine, and Secretary of Alpha Pi Phi Sorority. She currently interns at The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the Brand and Customer Partnerships Department. You can hear Angelica hosting Soundtrack Sunshine, as she DJ’s for Manhattan College’s radio station WRCM. When she finds the time to breathe she likes to go for walks in Van Cortland Park, hang out at An Beal with friends, and watch her roomates dance at the basketball games. Angelica loves to write about anything from her deepest darkest feelings, trendiest clothes on sale, and hot button topics. She loves to share her experiences with all of you and hopes readers can take something from her insight. She encourages anyone with a story to tell to join Her Campus and take a chance on the best girl group in college! Happy reading :)