Where did Kya’s mother run to in Where the Crawdads Sing?

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In Delia Owens's novel Where the Crawdads Sing, Ma runs away to New Orleans when she leaves Kya's home. Although her departure occurs at the beginning of the first chapter, we do not learn where Ma went until years later, by which point Ma has already been dead...

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In Delia Owens's novel Where the Crawdads Sing, Ma runs away to New Orleans when she leaves Kya's home. Although her departure occurs at the beginning of the first chapter, we do not learn where Ma went until years later, by which point Ma has already been dead for two years. Jodie tells Kya that when Ma abandoned them, she returned to her hometown of New Orleans because of a nervous breakdown as well as a physical illness. Jodie learns where Ma went because their aunt, Rosemary, gets in touch with him through the army. After Ma had recovered, she had written to the family, wanting to see her children, but Pa had threatened her if she ever returned. Owens uses the plot device of Ma's departure as the central event around which the plot revolves.

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