Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Published by Hodder & Stoughton
Published 15 March 2012
I read this for 2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge. The category is ‘a book with one of the four seasons in the title’
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
Amid the harsh landscape of the Ozark Hills, sixteen-year-old Ree is taking care of her mother and two brothers. Her father has put their house up as bail and if he doesn’t show up at court it’ll be sold from under them. To save her family she needs to track him down but in a community riven with long-running feuds getting answers isn’t easy.
REE DOLLY stood at break of day on her cold front steps and smelled coming flurries and saw meat.
WHAT I THOUGHT
I loved the movie and I really wanted to enjoy Winter’s Bone but many things about this short novel did not work for me. As far as plot goes this is worth five stars on its own. It’s bleak, dark, depressing and painfully real – I somehow know there are people who have gone through something similar to Ree. The characters are fantastic. I think Ree is amazing. I sort of loved her. She’s harsh and feisty and won’t take s*** from anyone and could take my eye out quite easily. She’s the kind of heroine I can get behind. However, the prose and writing style used throughout Winter’s Bone did not work for me. The novel suffers from a severe case of being overwritten. 30 words are used when two or three would be sufficient. I didn’t think this was possible for such a short novel but I stand corrected. At times I felt the author was trying to emulate Annie Proulx and Cormac McCarthy but never quite made it. The dense, dry prose really put me off and did the novel no favours. I could so easily have loved this novel but the author made it so hard to do.