So much win. It's kind of amazing how much I love Moriarty's books. I really liked how it all came together. Interesting universe with so many pirates and dragons and water sprites, but also committees and dull trips and people being late to pick one up at the station. I only had two tiny quibbles: it's weird to read about a girl living in a more-or-less-contemporaneous setting who wears dresses or skirts all the time. It's just a slight thing, but it pulls me just the tiniest bit out of the story every time a dress or skirt is mentioned because I so rarely see girls or women in them anymore. And also, this is a very white world. Not that everyone is explicitly called white, but because no one isn't. The illustrations reinforce the white-is-default impression. It's a good thing that I've become so accustomed to reading books with a diverse cast that I can't stop noticing when there aren't any other characters.
Despite those two issues, I loved the book. It's my favorite middle grade in I don't know how long. Highly recommended for white readers.
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!
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