Sunday, August 14, 2011

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell

Winter's Bone is taking place in the Ozark Mountains amongst poor and violent white trash families, cooking crank in their kitchens and outhoses and living in an almost clan-like society leaving absolutely no room for what they consider mistakes. You pay dearly if you make a wrong move or wrong decision

Ree Dolly is 16 and the main person in the book. She is a tough cookie, who doesn't seem to take no shit at all, at least not on the outside. She is taking care of her younger brothers, making sure they get fed and go to school, and she teaches them to shoot. She is also taking care of the mother who seems to suffer from an almost catatonic pshycosis. Her dad, who has been in prison numerous times, has disappeared. His disappearance is not something that is unusual, because it has happened before.

But this time it is more serious than Ree can imagine, he has jumped bail and used the house as security, and Ree is being told by the police that she, the mother and the two brothers need to get out of the house as soon as possible.

Ree can keep the house if she finds her fater - dead or alive, it doesn't matter - the court just need to know where he is, and if he is dead, they can keep the house. This leads Ree on a regular quest into her large family's darkest and most dirty corners, and while this might sound like a cosy and classic plot for a mystery, I can guarantee that there is absolutely nothing cosy about Winter's Bone.

It is an evil, violent and rough tale and the style in which it is written feels almost like social realism. Unfortunately it is not hard to imagine how life is out there in the middle of nowhere, in a place where poverty has been running through generation after generation. Ree's only bright spots in her life is her dream of joining the army, listening to stress-tapes with soothing sounds and maybe a cuddle with her girlfriend

Mean and icy and extremely well written, the reader will feel the cold and gritty atmosphere. Even thought eh novel is a short one it is a tough read and it is hard core. I liked it. And I am going to watch the movie soon.

2 comments:

Peter said...

I haven't read the book, but if it is as good as the film, it is great. I will definitely take a look at the book. Thanks for the review. :-)

Louise said...

Thanks for your comment, Peter. I haven't watched the movie yet, but I will.