This was another NPR “best of…” book, written by Daneil Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone. The book is set in the Ozarks, in the early- to mid-twentieth century. In 1929, in West Table, Missouri, Alma Dunahew is a maid to a prominent family and the breadwinner for her three sons, because her husband lives in the streets. Alma’s younger sister, Ruby, was slightly loose, and was killed in a terrible explosion in a dance club on a Saturday night that will forever be remembered in West Table. Forty-two people were killed that night, but Alma is only concerned with the loss of her sister. This loss shapes Alma and the family for two more generations. The story is told through the voice of Alma’s grandson, who alternates between stories of the victims, Alma’s story, and the grandson’s story.
The book was very short but good, probably a four on the 1-5 scale. Not one of my favorites this year, I feel like something was missing, but I could not explain to you what that something is. I have not read anything else by Woodrell, but will have to try Winter’s Bone soon.