Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book Review:: Winter's Bone

Ree Dolly has one dream and that's to escape her life and join the army. At only 16, she's dropped out of high school so that she can take care of her two younger brothers and her mother, who is suffering from such a deep depression that she's nearly catatonic. Ree's father, Jessup, can't be relied upon. He spends most of his time gone from the family, either out having affairs, doing meth, or cooking up meth in various makeshift labs set up in abandoned homes in the wilderness of the Ozarks.

Given Jessup's habit of being gone for long stretches of time without anyone knowing his whereabouts, no one really worries about him. Until Deputy Baskin shows up and explains to Ree that not only does her father have a court date in a week, but that Jessup has used the house for his bond. If he doesn't show up for court, Ree and her family will be homeless. Ree has a week to either find her father and make him show up for court, or prove that he's dead.

Ree immediately sets out to find her dad, coming into contact with many of her extended family members, some helpful, some not, most just plain creepy. There are a lot of Dolly's in Ree's neck of the woods and how they are all related to one another can be sketchy, so there's definitely the suggestion of a certain amount of inbreeding. Plus, since meth is the family business, the whole clan has been working outside the confines of the law for years. Needless to say, Ree has to put herself in a few dangerous situations in order to find the truth about her father.

This isn't the type of book I would normally read, but Jay read it first and then suggested I do the same. Simply put, I liked it. I didn't think I would because I am so done with the south and don't really have any desire to read about backwoods hill people, but the book was beautifully written and the story was engrossing and easy to follow. At only 190 pages and with many chapters being only a page or two, this is just a small slip of a book that's easy to pick up and put back down again when an annoying child comes up to you demanding something. But the suspense of the story is enough so that you can't wait for the moment you can pick it up again.

I definitely would consider this book a must read, even if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea. It only took me a few days to read it, but certain parts of it will remain with me for quite some time. Also, it's been made into a critically acclaimed movie, although I think I'll pass on that. The suspense of the book was more than enough for me, I don't think I could handle the film.

Next up on the nightstand, White Oleander.


Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I have read so many reviews of this movie. I did not know it was a book.

I see you are reading White Oleander next. I never read that because it was an Oprah book and you know how she goes on and on about her books so it turned me off. But then I saw the movie on tv on a snowy Saturday afternoon while dusting and I ended up sitting down and watching the whole thing. I can't wait to hear your review to see if it is similiar. most times sadly they are not.

red raven said...

Just ordered it from the library.I was surprized we had it but looking forward to reading it. Nothing like reading about backwoods meth cookin' hillbillies to skew my perception of Americans! (ha ha don't worry, I am fully aware we have our own here in Canada! Case in point: the BC marijuana growers that "trained" bears (habituating them with large sacks of dog food)to guard their crops! Now that is ingenious!

Tammie said...

peggy: ive been avoiding White Oleander for a long time for that very reason, but ive heard so many good things about it that i just decided i wasnt going to allow oprah to ruin it for me. plus, my copy doesnt have the oprah seal of approval on it so i can pretend its a different book. :)

kat: wow! that is nuts. bears scare the crap out of me. those marijuana growers must really love their crops.

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

I am intrigued....Of course, I just finished re-reading the whole "Little House...." series. I might be thrown into shock reading this one. Sounds like night and day. And I think it's hilarious that you are so over the South that you reconsider the books you choose to read. Haha.

Daphne said...

I might have to read this; it sounds really good. Although I have to warn you -- I did NOT like White Oleander. It left me feeling yucky in a way that most dark books do not. I'll be interested what you think.

Tammie said...

jodi: you have no idea! the other day i had to call a company about something that i had ordered and the person i was talking to had a southern drawl and i was so irritated by it. im becoming a snob!

daphne: i think you'd like it. it seems like a 'daphne' book. :)
it seems like everyone has very strong feelings about white oleander. i really cant wait to get into it.

mandy said...

Nice review Tammie. I'm putting it on my list.

Pam said...

I've had this on my list to read for a bit but I haven't been sure I want to "go there." I think you've nudged me into trying it. Yikes, White Oleander. It took a long time for me to get that one out of my head.

Also, I was recently awarded the “Irresistibly Brilliant Blog Award” and as part of receiving this award I have been asked to “pay it forward” by bestowing this award on six blogs which I find creative, inspiring and amusing. I have chosen you! I am so pleased to share it with you. I always look forward to your posts.

Dani said...

Always a great review. I like that it's a book that I could get through quickly. I've been passing out at night (not literally) and have such little to show in the reading department.

I really liked White Oleander. A lot.

Maria Rose said...

I will read it after I finish Swamplandia!