We – just like the rest of the world – did a little dance when this was announced Where the crayfish sing became a movie. Delia Owens’ novel took first place everybody is reading list as soon as it came out. And when we found out that Reese Witherspoon was producing the film adaptation, we knew we were in for a treat. Add the haunting trailer and Taylor Swift’s original song for the film to the mix and we absolutely loved it!
With the film premiering on July 15, many fans may be wondering just how closely the adaptation will tie in with the popular novel. Here’s everything we know about it, plus a refresher on what’s happening in the book, including that shocking ending.
Warning: This is your warning to stop reading if you don’t want spoilers!
Who is the main character in Where the crayfish sing?
The book follows Catherine Danielle Clark, also known as Kya, a little girl growing up in the North Carolina swamps in the 1950s. Kya’s mother left her when she was just 6 years old, followed shortly thereafter by her siblings. Kya’s father, an alcoholic and abusive World War II veteran, is the only family she has left. He teaches her the ways of the swamp, including fishing and basic survival skills. But he also eventually flees the city, leaving his daughter to fend for herself at just 10 years old.
Kya must use the skills her father taught her if she is to survive – and she is doing so. She makes money by selling the fish she catches and learning how to trade for basic needs. She befriends the kindhearted couple Jumpin’ and Mabel, who support her emotionally and sometimes financially as she grows up. Kya is forced to attend school, but after her peers mock her and call her “Marsh Girl,” she never sets foot in the building again. She returns to the swamp, where she is raised in her own way.
Who cares about Kya the most? Where the crayfish sing?
This is where the story really picks up steam. At one point, Kya meets and befriends a boy named Tate Walker, who teaches her to read and write. They quickly form a close bond that turns into a short-lived romance. Things end when Tate goes to college, leaving Kya alone and desperate.
But their love story is not over yet. A few years later, Kya Chase meets Andrews, the town’s golden boy and high school quarterback. At first she is knocked off her feet, but things soon take a tragic turn, setting off a domino effect that results in Kya being framed for murder.
How is Kya accused of murder?
After Chase is found dead, Kya quickly becomes the prime suspect in his murder, even though she was out of town at the time of his murder. As word of the case spreads, a stranger offers to be Kya’s attorney. Things take a turn for the better when he uncovers enough evidence to convince a jury that Kya is not guilty. The arduous process is over and Kya eventually reunites with Tate and begins a life with him in the swamp. They grow old together, and Kya dies of a heart attack in her sixties.
Who Killed Chase?
If you haven’t read the book yet, prepare to gasp. Just when you think things are about to end in the last few pages, you are faced with the twist of twists.
Tate trips over something under Kya’s floorboards. What he finds: Chase’s missing necklace, accompanied by a poem (written by Kya) that explains Chase’s death in detail. (!!!) Here we find out that Kya was actually Chase’s killer all along.
Does the movie have the same ending as the book?
By now you’re probably wondering if the film will share the book’s shocking ending.
If you’re a fan of the book, you’ll probably be relieved to hear that director Olivia Newman has said that staying true to Delia Owen’s original ending was “absolutely important” to her. “It was the only way to stay true to the whole story,” Newman said in a recent interview with Shondaland. “The ending of the book has the whole story, and so you have to understand the ending to understand the story that Delia is telling. It’s an ending that makes you want to talk and debate, argue and have conversations about friends. It’s not an easy, clean ending. What haunted me from the book and made me think is the ending.
Where the crayfish sing is in theaters now, so prepare to be amazed by a truly immersive story and ending.
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