Reading Life


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell

The fact that Ree says, "Never. Never ask for what ought to be offered," tells a lot about her character. Hungry, her two brothers has just said they would ask a relative for meat. Kin are supposed to help each other. 

Ree knows otherwise. She's had a hard life and is used to bitter disappointments. Yet she also exploits the fact that she's kin to many of the Ozark crank dealers.

Since her mother is enfeebled, Ree knows it's "all on her." She goes on an perilous pursuit to find the man that owes her family something--her own father.  

Woodrell invented the term country noir. Though it initially seems gritty and dark, this novel draws you into Ree's world. Though its not a pretty world, it's a taut, compelling narrative. 

"Writing fiction is the strangest of professions. Here is a job in which your task each day is to listen to the voices of the people who don't exist and describe events that never were. It's the adult version of Let's Pretend."

Lisa Wingate, in the acknowledgements, The Sea Keeper's Daughters.

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