Reese Witherspoon is no stranger to developing gripping novels for the screen - her production company Hello Sunshine has brought us cinematic hits including Gone Girl as well as must-watch series like Big Little Lies, Little Fires Everywhere and The Morning Show.
Now, Hello Sunshine is set to adapt another brilliant book into a movie - Delia Owens' Where the Crawdads Sing.
Reese first signified she was a fan of the story back in September 2018, when she chose it as a pick for her social media book club.
"I can't even express how much I love this book," she said at the time.
"It’s about a young woman named Kya, who’s left to raise herself in the marshes of North Carolina when her family abandons her at a young age. There is so much to her story: romance, mystery, and a murder... and it takes place in the breathtaking backdrop of the South. I didn’t want this story to end!"
Since then, the book has earned wide praise and it was actually the most-sold fiction book on Amazon for all of 2019.
Little wonder, then, that Reese has signed up to produce a movie adaptation, which will be directed by Olivia Newman with writing by Lucy Alibar, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Where the Crawdads Sing: What's it about?
The poignant novel, set primarily in the 1950s and '60s, is as much an ode to the beauty of nature as it is a coming-of-age story with a murder mystery weaved throughout.
The story centres on Kya, a smart, gentle, nature-loving girl, and follows her throughout her childhood spent in a remote marshland area near to a small town in North Carolina. With an abusive, alcohol-dependent father, a frightened mother and siblings who don't want to stick around, Kya experiences an extremely difficult early life and is ultimately left to fend for herself.
As she grows older, the instinctively guarded Kya makes new connections and the story tells of how she becomes close with the likes of Jumpin' and Mabel, a kind older couple, her fellow nature enthusiast Tate Walker and town heartthrob Chase Andrews.
The book's split timeline jumps between Kya's coming-of-age story and a murder investigation which ensues when Chase's dead body is discovered in 1969. Kya is suspected to be involved and the story follows as her character is dissected by the townspeople who've previously tried to ostracise her.
All the way through, Owens writes with such beauty about the landscape of the marsh, the lagoons and the estuaries Kya calls home, as well as the creatures she views as family.
All of this makes for a gripping, moving read - and the book features an impressive and shocking plot twist.
Where the Crawdads Sing: Who's in the cast?
Normal People star Daisy Edgar-Jones will play the lead role of Kya.
It was later announced that Taylor John Smith (Sharp Objects) will star as Tate while Harris Dickinson (Maleficent) will take on the role of Chase.
Where the Crawdads Sing: When's it coming to cinemas?
The movie is in pre-production, with filming seemingly yet to start. Watch this space for more filming news, which will in turn give us a better idea of a potential release date.
With plenty of time before the movie's out, you've got the chance to read (or re-read) Delia Owens' wonderful book.
BUY NOW Where the Crawdads Sing paperback, Amazon, £5.99
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