Published by Little Brown on June 20, 2010
Genres: Mystery, YA
Ree Dolly's father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dollys will lose their house if he doesn't show up for his next court date. With two young brothers depending on her, 16-year-old Ree knows she has to bring her father back, dead or alive. Living in the harsh poverty of the Ozarks, Ree learns quickly that asking questions of the rough Dolly clan can be a fatal mistake. But, as an unsettling revelation lurks, Ree discovers unforeseen depths in herself and in a family network that protects its own at any cost.
What I Thought…
Honestly, This book just wasn’t for me. I didn’t care for Woodrell’s writing style. I can’t say specifically what bothered me about it, just that I struggled reading it. I think Woodrell used every stereotype he possibly could for people who live in poverty in the Ozarks and just kept piling them on. It seemed like no one except for Ree had any redeeming qualities (not just the bad guys, but her family as well). And even Ree’s redeeming qualities were few. I had a hard time relating to Ree. I did feel sorry for her and what she was going through, and what she was made to do, but I just didn’t like her.
The mystery of the book fell flat for me. I didn’t find myself engaged in who did it and what happened. It was also anti-climatic. I never got to that one page where you know you just HAVE to continue reading until you finish because you HAVE to know what happens.
This was a book club book that looked promising but ultimately I was disappointed. Though I’m sure this book will lead to some good book discussion.