By Daniel Woodrell
Why this book?
Winter’s Bone is the best back country crime fiction of this century and one of the best of all time. People know Woodrell mostly through the film versions of his novels, for example, the movie based on this novel, starring Jennifer Lawrence. Winter’s Bone shows not just mastery of the form but freshness and realism of place, language, and behavior. Few books capture the Ozark region, as well as this one, does. At the heart of it is a paradox: While the story is utterly dark in tone—noirest of the noir—the depiction of what the sixteen-year-old female protagonist must live through just to prevent her family’s house from being sold—is somehow oddly hopeful about this otherwise bedeviled place and culture. Cursed by poverty, a drug epidemic, and abusive paternalism, there is at the same time a quite real strength hiding in Ozark culture, manifest in its humanity, particularly in the women of the region.
When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.