Winter's Bone: Riveting

Did you see the award-winning movie of Winter’s Bone (nominated for four Academy Awards) Trailer?  Even if you did, you should still read the book.  Both are worth the time. The movie is an independent film and uses a lot of amateurs taken from their day jobs to play significant roles. It was filmed on location without a big budget. Don’t let any of that deter you. The film benefits from it all. The director manages to deftly convert what might be weaknesses into strengths.

Daniel Woodrell, like many of my favorite authors, is often compared to Faulkner. But Faulkner is not one of my favorites. Go figure. In this novel, Woodrell tells a haunting tale of sixteen-year-old Ree Dolly, a girl of the Missouri Ozarks (the area between St. Louis and Memphis). Ree’s father, like many members of her family and the mountain community, cooks meth. And he is out on bail and missing.

Ree’s mother is catatonic, leaving Ree in charge of her two young brothers. The sheriff tells her that the family may lose their home and their land because her father has pledged it as part of the bail bond that has now been violated. To save their home, Ree has to find her father and convince him to return or prove that he is dead. She believes him dead, because Dollys never run. And Dollys never give up their property.

Ree’s quest pulls back the thin, secretive veneer from life in this mountain community, exposing the carcass like a freshly-skinned deer (sorry, ladies). Woodrell’s exceptional use of language allows us to see the harsh, brutal, and bloody reality of the strange code of secrecy and distorted sense of honor that binds her family and her neighbors together against the outside world. Ree’s quest is cold, violent, dark and dangerous, but her courage is uplifting. I won’t spoil the climax other than to say it is riveting.

Update on Go Down Looking

Final approval on cover revisions and manuscript has been issued. Book should go to press next week, and pre-market copies should be available by late April or early May. Full distribution on Amazon and other national outlets won’t be complete until about three months. That three months is when important marketing is done. Publisher and I will be only available sources for books until that happens. Thanks for asking. I will let everyone on my list know and will make signed copies easy to obtain. If you are not on my e-mail or snail mail list and would like to be, let me know.

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