Hello, listeners! I’m here with the next episode of the UNspoiled! Book Club, in which Alan and I discuss the book Winter’s Bone, by Daniel Woodrell. This was a book that I really enjoyed and was quite impressed by, for a variety of reasons but one of the most prominent being that it was written by a man.
I really didn’t give the author any thought when I picked this book up, because I usually save my examination of the author for after I have finished because I don’t want it to color my interpretation of the work itself, and I was stunned once I got to the interview at the end to discover that the wonderful character of Ree Dolly wasn’t written by a woman. Men often have this certain way of writing female characters, which I describe in the podcast, and there isn’t the slightest trace of that in this book so I was caught completely by surprise.
This is a very compact, carefully written story that is entirely focused on a tiny region and the way of life there. It’s plot is centered around the dogged and practical Ree, but it’s the whole experience of being broke, alienated from most of the world, on the wrong side of the law, and at the mercy of stupid men with too much power and not enough self-control that really is where the story comes from. It’s the kind of life that we have been taught to pity or to judge, but there’s a real emphasis on how much these people pride themselves on living this way and how unwelcome our pity is, not to mention our judgment.
I hope you enjoy this show, and that you’ll check out this great book. Thanks so much for listening, and I will see you tomorrow with Penny Dreadful!