What a fun and dark short story this was!
It's young George's turn to take Doggem home from school over the holidays. Doggem is a cute little stuffed toy and George is excited. The one responsibility that comes along with Doggem is his diary entries. George is required to write about Doggem's life from Doggem's point of view over their time off. George is a little worried about that, but is proud and happy to give it a shot. He will soon discover though, that Doggem is a much more than he seems to be. What will happen over the holiday? Will George be able to keep up with Doggem's diary entries? You'll have to read this to find out!
This is a charming little tale about George, his family, and Doggem. It didn't spool out quite the way I expected it to, and that's what made this bite-sized tale so much fun!
You can get your Kindle copy here: DOGGEM
*I was provided a free e-book copy in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
I'm not feeling like a full review today so I'll limit this to only a few comments.
*The Ozarks in which this book takes place seem to have nothing in common with the OZARK Netflix show.
*I have no doubt in my mind that life in some areas of the Ozarks is as brutal as it's depicted in this book. Poverty, drug use, tight family units, and long-held multi-generational grudges are just part of the miserable lives examined here.
*I couldn't help but feel for 16 year old Ree who just wanted to join the army and get the hell out of there. Due to her mother's mental illness and her two young siblings, her hands were tied. It's hard to escape family.
*I thought this book was savage with sharp, vivid prose-sometimes so sharp it stabbed me right in the heart.
*I enjoyed WINTER'S BONE, as much as one can enjoy a story this violent and merciless. I look forward to sampling more of Daniel Woodrell's work in the future.
*Recommended for those with the wherewithal to stomach the brutalities of this rural, mountain life. You have been warned!
I decided to backtrack a bit to the series's first (I think) Christmas entry, which is set right after Meg and Michael's marriage and in which Meg is in charge of organizing Caerphilly's annual holiday parade -- emphatically not a "Christmas" parade, since it includes a nod to Diwali (complete with elephants), as well as a Kwanzaa float, which obviously makes this book a fun match with "24 Festive Tasks".
Andrews had definitely found her Meg Langslow legs by the time of this book, and the writing and plotting is great fun ... of course a holiday parade themed on The Twelve Days of Christmas offers countless opportunities for things to go hilariously haywire, but you still have to be able to hit just the right balance of humor and storytelling instead of simply stringing together a series of (wannabe) quirky incidents and characters, which not every writer is able to pull off convincingly. Perhaps the one tiny letdown was that the murderer (and their motive) was fairly obvious well before the conclusion of the book, but still, I very much enjoyed my annual return to Caerphilly for Christmas the holidays.
And since a whole rafter of turkeys show up in various parts of the book -- they march in the holiday parade, they're being offered as charity gifts to the local poor, they're roasted at one of the local church community's food stand, and a turkey also features in the Christmas dinner "in the off" at the end of the story, to be prepared by Meg's mother -- I feel justified in using this as my Thanksgiving square read in "24 Festive Tasks" ... even if the turkeys are not accorded quite as prominent a role as the titular six geese (or actually, 37 geese ... or make that 38, counting one deceased of natural causes).