. . . She said, "I'll find him." [pgs 16-17]
Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Little, Brown & Co, 2006
I initially saw the movie trailer for Winter's Bone at Linus's Blanket, Nicole's blog, and became interested in both the book and the movie. It wasn't until I had the movie in hand (rented through Netflix) that I suddenly had the urge to read the book first--so off I went to download it on my trusty little nook.
What drew me to Winter's Bone was the character of Ree, her determination and steadfastness to protect her family. Ree Dolly is only seventeen. Her father went off on one of his many trips and has yet to return. Ree learns that her father has a court hearing coming up and if he fails to appear, the family will lose their house. With a mother who is suffering from severe depression and unable to care for herself as well as two young siblings, Ree has taken on the role of parent in the home. It falls upon her to search for her father to try and save not only the family home, but the family as well.
She sets out to question her kin who are secretive by their very nature. Theirs is a life of crime, selling and manufacturing drugs being the family trade. Set in the Ozarks, during the winter months, the author captures the bleakness and poverty of the area, mixed in with its beauty. The people are hard and untrusting. It's clear that they have something to hide.
While Woodrell's writing is descriptive, the actual dialogue and story somehow come across as raw and harsh. It has a noir quality to it. The movie itself sets that same tone--the muted music, the silence, and so much being said through expressions and body language. I was especially cognizant of the role the women played throughout the book and movie--all strong, many trapped in their situation.
The movie varies from the book in minor details. In the book, Ree has two younger brothers, however, in the movie, she has a brother and a sister. There were other differences, such as a lack of snow in the movie whereas it was a big part of the story in the book. The overall story remained the same. Jennifer Laurence who plays Ree in the movie had the same moxie as I envisioned in the book's character and John Hawkes was well cast as Teardrop, Ree's uncle, at once threatening while also being compassionate.
This is one of those books and movies that leaves you sitting for a few minutes after all is said and done to reflect on the story and the characters. It is very much a story about survival, family and human nature.
Drama - 2010 (Norway) (rated R)
Directed by Debra Granik
Screenplay written by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
Based on novel written by Daniel Woodrell
Source: E-book bought with gift card; movie rented through Netflix at my own expense.