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Winter's Bone


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'He belongs in the forefront of American fiction' John Williams, Independent

Promotional Information

'He belongs in the forefront of American fiction' John Williams, Independent

About the Author

Daniel Woodrell is the author of several novels including WOE TO LIVE ON, which was filmed as Ride with the Devil, directed by Ang Lee and starring Toby Maguire. His family have lived in the Ozarks since the Civil War.


Adult/High School-In the poverty-stricken hills of the Ozarks, Rees Dolly, 17, struggles daily to care for her two brothers and an ill mother. When she learns that her absent father, a meth addict, has put up the family home as bond, she embarks on a dangerous search to find him and bring him home for an upcoming court date. Her relatives, many of whom are in the business of "cooking crank," thwart her at every turn, but her fight to save the family finally succeeds. Rees is by turns tough and tender. She teaches her brothers how to shoot a shotgun, and even box, the way her father had taught her. Her hope is "that these boys would not be dead to wonder by age twelve, dulled to life, empty of kindness, boiling with mean." A male friend feeds her hallucinogenic mushrooms and then assaults her. But, like Mattie Ross in Charles Portis's True Grit (Penguin, 1995), Rees beats the odds with spunk and courage. In spare but evocative prose, Woodrell depicts a harsh world in which the responsibilities for survival ultimately give Rees meaning and direction. He depicts the landscape, people, and dialects with stunning realism. A compelling testament to how people survive in the worst of circumstances.-Pat Bangs, Fairfax County Public Library, Va Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

'It brings us all the satisfactions of crime thriller and mystery...The beauty lies in the loveable and wholly believable character of Ree' -- Guardian 'A suspicion grows that you are reading the sort of book D.B.C Pierre's Vernon God Little" might have been, had it been five times as keenly observed and deeply felt' -- The Times 'Woodrell is a marvellous writer' -- Roddy Doyle 'Woodrell throws down sentences that will leave you amazed.' -- Charles Frazier 'Reading this will make you feel that you walk on very, very thin ice, and know that chaos is very, very close. Such knowledge has many consequences, one of them is exhilaration.' -- Niall Griffiths, Observer 'Brutal, violent and completely gripping' -- Independent on Sunday

Woodrell flirts with but doesn't succumb to cliche in his eighth novel, a luminescent portrait of the poor and desperate South that drafts 16-year-old Ree Dolly, blessed with "abrupt green eyes," as its unlikely heroine. Ree, too young to escape the Ozarks by joining the army, cares for her two younger brothers and mentally ill mother after her methamphetamine-cooking father, Jessup, disappears. Recently arrested on drug charges, Jessup bonded out of jail by using the family home as collateral, but with a court date set in one week's time and Jessup nowhere to be found, Ree has to find him dead or alive or the house will be repossessed. At its best, the novel captures the near-religious criminal mania pervasive in rural communities steeped in drug culture. Woodrell's prose, lyrical as often as dialogic, creates an unwieldy but alluring narrative that allows him to draw moments of unexpected tenderness from predictable scripts: from Ree's fearsome, criminal uncle Teardrop, Ree discovers the unshakable strength of family loyalty; from her friend Gail and her woefully dependant siblings, Ree learns that a faith in kinship can blossom in the face of a bleak and flawed existence. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Sixteen-year-old Ree Dolly has a plan. She's going to join the army as soon as she can free herself from her complicated family obligations. Unfortunately, her father, part of a large extended Dolly family crystal meth enterprise, is missing. Her mother's mind is gone, and two little brothers worship at Ree's feet. Ree gets word that her father has skipped bail; if he doesn't meet his court date, the family loses its home, and there's nowhere to go. Ree begins a journey through the savage poverty of a brutally cold Ozarks winter to deliver her father before his court date. Woodrell's captivatingly resourceful protagonist both enchants and horrifies with her fierce determination to get to the truth of her father's disappearance and to protect her brothers. When she takes on the Dolly family's deep, cancerous control of the meth network, the eruption of violence nearly costs her everything. Woodrell's eighth novel (after The Death of Sweet Mister) exposes the tragedy of crystal meth in rural America in all its brutal ugliness in language that is both razor sharp and grimly gorgeous. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/06.]-Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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