The sheriff's deputy at the front door brings hard news to Ree Dolly. Her father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dollys will lose their house if he doesn't show up for his next court date. Ree's father has disappeared before. The Dolly clan has worked the shadowy side of the law for generations, and arrests (and attempts to avoid them) are part of life in Rathlin Valley.
With two young brothers depending on her and a mother who's entered a kind of second childhood, sixteen-year-old Ree knows she has to bring her father back, dead or alive. She has grown up in the harsh poverty of the Ozarks and learns quickly that asking questions of the rough Dolly clan can be a fatal mistake. But along the way to a shocking revelation, Ree discovers unforeseen depths in herself and in a family network that protects its own at any cost.
My Thoughts: For the past two years my local library has sponsored 'Read Across Town' where they encourage the town to read one book and then host events and discussions about the book. This year's book is Winter's Bone which is why I picked this up. I really had no idea what to expect from this book when I started it but I ended up enjoying it.
The story is really short and not a lot of background is given. From the first page, you are thrown directly into the story. A lot is revealed as the story progresses but at times it would have been nice to know more about everyone's past. Woodrell paints a fascinating portrait of life deep in the Ozarks and people who inhabit that world. Ree was a pretty unique character. Her tough exterior, devotion to her family, and desire to escape her life made her into a really interesting character. I also liked the character of Uncle Teardrop; he was an extremely rough person but at times he showed a softer side and that made him a really great character.
The ending to this book left me with a lot of unanswered questions but I think it was still well-wrapped up. I did try to google the answers to my questions and it appears that I am was not the only one who was left wondering. If you are looking for something different, you may want to check out Winter's Bone. 3 stars.