Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell

Sixteen-year-old Ree Dolly lives a life of poverty in the Ozark Mountains. She bares responsibility for her two brothers and her sick mother. On a cold winter day Ree learns that her father has skipped bail on charges for cooking crystal meth. If he doesn’t return her family will lose their home and all they have. Ree’s only choice is to navigate the dark underbelly of her extended family and bring her father home- dead or alive.

Winter’s Bone is ultimately a coming of age story, dark and gritty. It paints a portrait of the harsh realities of a subculture that is so far detached from the rest of the world it is hard to believe that it exists, but it truly does.  Ree’s character is strong and relentless. The story is moving and beautiful, though very bleak. This is definitely not a light read, but one that shouldn’t be missed. Woodrell does such an excellent job of painting the landscape that you will feel the chill of the Ozark air inside and out. I recommend curling up with this one on a cold winter night with a very warm blanket.

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