Monday, December 28, 2009
Daniel Woodrell sure can write a sentence. He manages, in Winter's Bone, not only to come up with a convincing, emotionally-taut plot, but his lean, beautiful prose makes the entire journey through the Ozark white-trash countryside a wonder. His protagonist, 16 year old Rees Dolly, searches for her missing father, who has defaulted on a jail bond, unwittingly putting the house at risk for repossession where Rees lives in with her demented mother and two younger brothers. Rees is a supergirl, taking care of her charges tenderly and completely, teaching her younger brothers to shoot a gun in the fear that they will need the skill much sooner than later. Her relatives, a sprawling, vicious, secretive and ancient Ozarks clan, threaten her, succor her, and ultimately confound her in her search.