Sunday, April 24, 2011

Book Review: Winter's Bone

Title: Winter's Bone
Author: Daniel Woodrell

When Ree Dolly's father skips bail, the 16-year-old knows if he doesn't show up to answer the drug charges against him, her family will lose their home. Her goal had been to leave her messy life of poverty and join the army, but first she must find her father, teach her little brothers to fend for themselves, and escape a downward spiral of misery.
My Thoughts

This is our second novel that we have selected for our little book club that some of us teachers decided to put together to have a break in the action from the YA scene and have an adult outlet. You can see our wiki page here.

I am reading this very close to our meeting so I had already heard some insights from a few of the teachers in the club. Many were a little unsure about the novel. They said it was slow moving, hard to understand with all the family connections, and I think that overall they maybe were not as impressed with the novel as they had hoped. Now, this is just speculation as we have not discussed the novel yet.

I started reading the book with some doubt. However, all doubt left my brain right away. I was sucked into this storyline. It is a slow paced story, but I think it was designed that way to reflect the landscape and setting of the story. Life in the Ozarks is not a fast paced lifestyle(once again speculation since I have not lived there).

Things were simple. The book did not go into great detail. Once again I believe it was done to be reflective of the storyline. Things are simple. There is not much money. Life is bleak with almost everyone using or selling crank and other drugs.

I read this book in one sitting. I stayed up super late to finish. I could not believe the treatment of Ree. I just felt so bad for this girl. She had so much to deal with in her life. I am not sure I would have been able to carry her burden. The things that happen as she tries to hang on for what is left just amazed me.

I also believe that this novel reflected society in some aspects. The men were almost tyrants in this community. The women never went against the grain no matter how terribly they were treated or cheated on. They just did not have the backbone to stand up for what was right. Where else would they go? They have this view of being stuck in a rut. Even Ree who was the strongest starts to succumb to this outlook. We don't know whatever comes of her, but I highly doubt she ever makes her dream of escaping to the army.

I recommend this book. It is not a high octane action adventure read, but one that is a fantastic read in contemporary fiction. I was hesitant to read the novel at first, but now regret waiting so long to read it. I cannot wait for the book club meeting to discuss it.
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