Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell

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Amy Updegrave

English 106

Dr. Carrie Myers

March 19, 2014

Winter's Bone, by Daniel Woodrell examines the hardships and challenges of Ree Dolly to save the family homestead located deep within the frozen hollows of the Ozark Mountains.

A mentally-ill mother, and a crystal meth peddling father on the run from the law force 16 year old Ree into the roles of caregiver and head of household for her mother and two younger siblings, Sonny and Harold. A visit from the local sheriff reveals her father put up the family house and land for his bond. Should he not appear for his court date set the following week, all will be lost, driving Ree and her family to homelessness. Vowing to find her father, dead or alive, Ree encounters both close and distant relatives who vehemently deter her from her search. Despite her traumatic experiences, Ree continues to care for and teach her younger siblings how to fend for themselves and care for their mother so Ree may one day escape the intolerable living conditions of her backwoods community to join the Army.

In doing so, Ree evolves into not only a sister, but a mentor as well. If Harold were to write a letter to Ree, he would be thankful for the care Ree has given him and the self-reliance she instilled in him.

Dear Ree,

I know you ain't wantin' me and Sonny to turn out soft and all, but I figured there'd be no reason I can't at least sit here and put it down on paper how glad I am that you've been around makin' sure our bellies have had their fill when the land and the kindness of the kinfolk across the creek have allowed for fillin'. 'Course I remember how you say, "Never.