It is set in a small town in Northern Carolina in the late sixties, where Kya Clark lives deep in the marshland. She is abandoned by her mother and siblings as a young girl, and left to care for a drunken, abusive and mostly absent father. Lonely and isolated, she turns to the nature around her for solace. She’s a sensitive, intelligent girl and, becoming finely tuned to the natural processes around her, extends a human need for mother’s love to nature itself. But, in addition to this, this is a coming-of-age story. Kya meets and befriends two boys. One teaches her to read and write, and the other lands up offering her the possibility of a different life. Then a young man is found dead, and the locals suspect Kya, who they refer as the Marsh Girl. Although she’s considered strange by the small society, there are some people who look out for her, such as the wonderful Jumpin and Mabel. Owens’ prose is beautiful and poetic; her imagery is exquisite and the characters are gorgeous.