Published by: Little, Brown and Company
Published on: August 2006
Page Count: 208
My Reading Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible.com
Audiobook Published by: Hachette Audio
Narrator: Emma Galvin
Audiobook Length: 4 hours 56 minutes
Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, and Audiobook
When I started listening to Winter’s Bone, I was expecting a Historical Western. I was completely off. While the story takes place in a rural area, it is contemporary. Ree Dolly, only 16, is charged with raising her younger brothers because her mother is no longer mentally stable. Life with her father, who has spent time in jail for drug related offenses, was too much for her psyche. When we meet Ree, she learns that her father put up the house they live in as collateral when he last posted bail. He was due in court the next day. If he didn’t show up, she would lose the house. Although she comes from a rather large extended family, there was no place for her to go with her brothers. She must track down her father at any cost.
The look inside this backwoods Honey Boo Boo on meth type of existence was hard to stomach. Older siblings being compelled to raise younger siblings due to neglectful or absent parents isn’t new and certainly families have been harming each other or worse since the beginning of time, but this is no way to live. Ree had very little childhood and before her life has even begun, she’s as hard as stone. She does her best and fights tooth and nail to save her brothers, but someone should have been there for her. It was a struggle to feel hopeful for her and her future. She deserved so much better than the life into which she was born.
Emma Galvin was perfectly cast to read this audiobook. She has a rugged, youthful voice that packs a punch when the story calls for it. Her voice became Ree’s for me in every way.
Winter’s Bone is well written and the audiobook is well produced. While it isn’t a book to pick up lightly, it is well worth the read. Ree will haunt you long after you’ve finished, reminding you that this kind of life isn’t something to turn a blind eye on or to raise up to viewers for mockery like the current TLC hit reality show. It should be fought for the sake of the children who have no other means of escape.