Winter’s Bone. Set in the Ozarks. About a meth family. It has the potential to be a heart-breaking message about a beautiful area of America that captures the pain and lies a methhead tells himself and brings upon his loved ones.
Instead, I found a tale about a sometimes wiser-than-her-years, sometimes naive teenager who lived in a beautiful world muddled by thick, stumbling prose, often distracting in its put-on complexity. To be fair, there were shining gems of sentences that captured the beauty of winter in the Ozarks, the misfortune of living in an island of interrelated meth families, and the chill isolation experienced by a teenager thrust into the role of parent, caregiver, and bounty hunter.
Unfortunately, the book ends up, for me, being a flat, family feud of a story that doesn’t tell the story of what it’s like for most people who are close to a meth addict (trust me). Instead it follows a daughter around who is searching for her dad among doors-close-in-your-face communities. That’s it.
To be fair, many of the ladies in my book club loved the book, so follow Levar Burton’s advice: you don’t have to take my word for it.