Author: Daniel Woodrell
Winter’s Bones took our breath away.
Woodrell’s new novel, The Maid’s Version, accomplishes prose so piercingly honest that it stuns, as Woodrell wends his readers back to the Ozarks, pivoting around small town families on the edge of survival, and the bonds that tear them apart even while they fight to survive their own tragedies. Their starkness becomes their strength, while it simultaneously destroys them.
The Maid’s Version splices time into fragments, as Alma DeGeer Dunahew, a maid in the home of the Glencrosses, waits on the family while her own children starve at home. Mr. Arthur Glencross is president of Citizens’ Bank, and he is having an affair with Alma’s sister, Ruby DeGeer, while demanding that Alma makes the arrangements for the Ruby and his “meetings.” Ruby is beautiful and petite, Alma “was fearful for her when she was not jealous.”
Alma relates the story through her grandson Alec, the story of the tragic event that destroyed her family, a heinous fire set by the patriarch of the Glencross family at a dance attended by many of the town. Alma tells the story in parcels and pieces of memory, a collage adorned with tragedy, to Alec as Alma and her son, Alec’s father are estranged. Alma’s other sons are dead, one from childhood leukemia, the other killed by bitterness and hate. As Woodrell defines his setting through the sheer power of language, he encompasses his characters within their only bit of power; their struggle to survive. Brutal, tender, vindictive, and harsh, Woodrell’s characters live within the circumstances of their birth, and within a town that collapses upon itself in the vision and memory of one tragic event.
As always, Woodrell is brutally compelling,…
…showcasing the backwoods of the Ozarks and its effect upon the people who live there. Lyrical, explosive and written like a poem, The Maid’s Version hides that hidden place within us all: family, where we came from, and what we do with it. And only Woodrell can showcase the fate of poverty within the brilliance of the heart of the Ozarks.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own
The Maid’s Version: A Novel is available on Amazon.com and booksellers nationwide