Is Where The Crawdads Sing based on a true story and what is it about?

What is Where The Crawdads Sing About and is it based on a true story? Fans of the smash hit novel turned movie are wondering after its released on Amazon Prime Video.

a still of Daisy Edgar-Jones in Where the Crawdads Sing
(Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing)

From the best-selling novel comes a captivating mystery set to hit home screens when Where The Crawdads Sing movie is released on Amazon Prime Video and fans are asking about about the summary and if it based on a true story?

Having topped The New York Times Fiction Best sellers of 2019 and The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2020 for a combined 32 non-consecutive weeks it comes to no surprise that the novel - as of late February 2022 has spent 150 weeks on the best seller list and the film released is expected to be a big hit too.

But if you haven't read the book, or know much about the film, the characters or where it's filmed, you'll probably want to know more about Where The Crawdads Sing is about and if it's based on a true story? Much like the anticipated Daisy Jones and the Six episodes that are coming out on Amazon Prime in March  - also produced by Reese Witherspoon.

Is Where the Crawdads Sing based on a true story?

No, Where The Crawdads Sing is not a true story, but instead is based on the best-selling book of the same name by Delia Owens, published in 2018. There are several nods to Delia's own life in her novel in that she and her husband were connected to a real-life murder in 1995 - where they were the primary suspects in the shooting of an alleged poacher in Zambia.

According to Bustle, the couple was wanted for questioning after they returned to the U.S., and the Zambian government was still investigating the case as of 2010.

Taylor Swift has written and performed a song for it called Carolina and she shared the news with her followers on Instagram. She said, "Where The Crawdads Sing is a book I got absolutely lost in when I read it years ago. As soon as I heard there was a film in the works starring the incredible @daisyedgarjones and produced by the brilliant @reesewitherspoon, I knew I wanted to be a part of it from the musical side. I wrote the song “Carolina” alone and asked my friend @aarondessner to produce it. I wanted to create something haunting and ethereal to match this mesmerizing story. You’ll hear it fully soon, but for now check out the @crawdadsmovie trailer for a clip!"

What is Where The Crawdads Sing about?

Where The Crawdads Sing tells the story of Kya, an abandoned girl who raised herself to adulthood in the dangerous marshlands of North Carolina. For years, rumours of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, isolating the sharp and resilient Kya from her community. Drawn to two young men from town, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world; but when one of them is found dead, she is immediately cast by the community as the main suspect. As the case unfolds, the verdict as to what actually happened becomes increasingly unclear, threatening to reveal the many secrets that lay within the marsh.

Where the Crawdads sing: Cast

Where The Crawdads Sing stars Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People) as “Kya Clark,” Taylor John Smith (Sharp Objects) as “Tate Walker,” Harris Dickinson (The King’s Man) as “Chase Andrews,” Michael Hyatt (Snowfall) as “Mabel,” Sterling Macer, Jr. (Double Down) as “Jumpin’,” and David Strathairn (Nomadland) as “Tom Milton.”

Olivia Newman (First Match) directs the screenplay by Lucy Alibar (Beasts of the Southern Wild) based upon the novel by Delia Owens.

The 3000 Pictures film is being produced by Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter.

What does the phrase Where The Crawdads Sing mean?

The meaning of the title phrase Where The Crawdads Sing comes from Delia Owen's childhood experiences - it is something her mother used to say and is also a phrase that Tate, one of the characters in the book says in Chapter 17 when he and Kya are looking for a place to hang out.

At the time, Tate suggests that they head somewhere "where the crawdads sing". And here he explains to Kya that it means "far in the bush where critters are wild, still behaving like critters" as he is suggesting that they go deep into the woods far from other people.

In the book he says, “Well, we better hide way out there where the crawdads sing. I pity any foster parents who take you on.” Tate’s whole face smiled.

“What d’ya mean, where the crawdads sing? Ma used to say that.” Kya remembered Ma always encouraging her to explore the marsh: “Go as far as you can—way out yonder where the crawdads sing.”

Where can I watch Where The Crawdads Sing movie?

You can now watch Where The Crawdads Sing movie at home on Amazon Prime Video, which is great news for fans who missed seeing it at the cinema when it was released back in June.

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Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is currently a Senior Entertainment Writer for, formerly Senior Entertainment writer for Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life and has more than 16 years of experience in newspapers, magazines and online. She currently writes a mix of Entertainment news - including celebrity births, weddings and reality show line-ups including Strictly, Dancing On Ice and The Great British Bake Off, reporting the the latest news about the Royal kids Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet as well as Family news stories from baby names to store closures and product recall warnings. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.