Winter's Bone


Reviews of Winter's Bone (1 review)

4 - Good Review

Reviewer:

This was my introduction to Woodrell, and like the movie that was based on it, Winter's Bone is an exceedingly bleak affair. Set way back in the Ozarks, this story could've conceivably taken place at any time over the last century, but for the cars, TV and meth involved. Ree Dolly is a girl with a lot on her plate, with a no-good father who usually isn't around (mostly in jail or running from the law), a mother whose cheese has permanently slid off her cracker, two younger brothers to look after more or less on her own, and a host of secretive, brutish relatives. No joke: these people are HARD! It's a place where dreams wither and die before they have a chance to flower. Basically, Ree's daddy has put the house up as bail, but has since gone missing, and unless Ree can find him, they're out on the hills. But her various shady relations have their own reasons for NOT wanting her to find him, and family or not, could really care less about what happens to her and her brothers. Even with a handful of contemporary references (kept vague on purpose, I bet), it's impossible to tell exactly when this story takes place, which lends it a timeless, echoes-of-the-ancient feel. The writing is devoid of Woodrell's usual sly humor. Other books have an almost Larry McMurtry-like brand of tragicomedy to them), but Winter's Bone is grim all the way. Definitely not a feel-good read, but one that'll stick in your head for a long time.