This #1 New York Times bestseller follows the life of Kya, the “Marsh Girl.” Born in the backwaters of North Carolina, Kya is devastated when, one by one, members of her family abandon her. She is left to fend for herself. Ever the resourceful seven-year-old, she walks barefoot into town to buy grits with whatever change she can find. She eventually comes up with a scheme to barter goods with a local shop owner. Kya has also become one with nature from living in such a remote area. She collects and catalogs feathers, shells and other flora and fauna she finds, eventually amassing a collection that fills her waterfront shack and inspires her future career.
Even though Kya has the basics needed to survive, she is missing one vital element: human connection. When the boy she has seen around the marsh for years starts to reach out, she wonders if maybe she is worthy of love after all. But as the narrative reveals, one can pay a steep price for making themselves emotionally vulnerable. This first-time novel from author Delia Owens offers a little something for everyone: a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, a suspenseful mystery and a passionate tribute to the natural world.