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.