Book Review-Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell

Author – Hazel

Winter’s Bone is a story about a young 16 year old girl searching for her father.  It is set in the Ozark’s, Missouri part of the Appalachian mountains of the USA. imageBasically, Ree Dolly the female protagonist of the story has been left by her father to raise her two younger brothers, Sonny and Harold, look after her mother who is catatonic and look after the house and land. Her father Jessup has upped and skipped town in lieu of his upcoming court date and unbeknownst to Ree, has put up the house and land for bail bond!

The story follows Ree in her struggle to find her father. And the townsfolk’s unwillingness to help, leads her to think that her father has met an untimely end. Along the way you meet some colourful characters, Gail, Ree’s best friend, Uncle Teardrop and Blond Milton to name but a few.

The harsh winter that the story is set in provides the ideal backdrop for the violence and brutality that Ree encounters on her search.

‘The sightless eye was fattened shut and stretched tight. She felt the swelling and tried to pry the eyelid open, but could not even sense daylight through that eye. Blood had to be spit and came out in heavy wads trailed by stringy drools that lapped onto her chin and cheeks. With her tongue she could feel shreds of her own meat broken from inside her lips. Her skirt was thrown up and her legs were decked with bruises that coloured uglier as she watched.’


So, what did I think?

Well, I struggled with the prose and dialogue to begin with which reflects the dialect of the people who actually live there, I got used to it after about 40 pages or so but there were the odd few words I had to look up because I had no idea what they meant. ‘Crank’ was one of those words. I thought that maybe it was my naïveté and ignorance towards drugs but no, several people I spoke to about it didn’t have a clue either!

The story is fast paced and flows really well and although I struggled with the dialogue, the author kept me interested enough to keep reading. It’s not my usual sort of book, I bought it on a recommendation and although I could not relate to the characters or story it ended up being somewhat enjoyable.

Overall, the story had interesting characters, lots of action and adventure, humorous dialogue and a mostly happy ending. All but a couple of things, I look for in a good novel.

Good reading 🙂







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