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Boxing the Octopus: all content copyright 2008 Colleen Thompson and Joni Rodgers all rights reserved.
Long before the Oscar buzz began for Winter's Bone, Colleen was telling me I had to see it. I decided to check out the book first and grabbed a sample on my Kindle. Cliche alert: I could not put it down. The main character, Ree Dolly, is described as "brunette and sixteen, with milk skin and abrupt green eyes." We meet her standing "bare-armed in a fluttering yellow dress, face to the wind, her cheeks reddening as if she'd been smacked and smacked again." Ree's soon on a mission to find her meth-cooking father, who's put the family's home up as security for a bail bond. A grueling emotional and physical journey through the bleakest possible landscape ensues, but Woodrell keeps it readable, redemptive, and firmly on the ground of drama instead of melodrama. Check it out.