Adults of all ages read and discuss fiction titles on the third Tuesday of each month. This month's title: The Maid's Version by Daniel Woodrell. Summary: The American master's first novel since Winter's Bone (2006) tells of a deadly dance hall fire and its impact over several generations. A grandson becomes obsessed with his grandmother's story about a small-town disaster from many years ago. Set in the Ozarks, the book is inspired by history and is far less noir-tinged than the author's earlier works. Loosely based on the real-life West Plains Dance Hall Explosion of 1928, it centers on Alma DeGeer Dunahew, a maid with three children in fictional West Table, Mo. After years of bitter silence, Alma has chosen to unburden her story on her grandson, Alek. Alma's younger sister Ruby may be a bit wayward, but Alma cherishes her. When Ruby is killed along with 42 other victims in the local Arbor Dance Hall, Alma is determined that the explosion was no accident. From these slim threads, Woodrell gives us many potential culprits, among them an Old Testament preacher and a gang of bank robbers, not to mention all the secrets and lies kept by the good people of any rural village. Short chapters reveal only the most telling and scarce details of Woodrell's lineup of characters, lending the story a spare, bitter charm. A commanding fable about trespass and reconstruction from a titan of Southern fiction.(Kirkus) (DoctorFate)
Winter's Bone 2,009 copies, 120 reviews
The Maid's Version 515 copies, 43 reviews
Tomato Red 422 copies, 19 reviews
The Death of Sweet Mister 360 copies, 20 reviews
The Outlaw Album 277 copies, 19 reviews
The Bayou Trilogy: Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, and The… 268 copies, 16 reviews
Woe to Live On 209 copies, 5 reviews
Give Us a Kiss 209 copies, 9 reviews
Under the Bright Lights 99 copies, 5 reviews
The Ones You Do 87 copies, 1 review
Muscle for the Wing 69 copies, 2 reviews
Ride With The Devil [1999 film] (Screenwriter) 43 copies
Night Stand 1 copy
Returning the River 1 copy
A Single Shot (Foreword, some editions) 133 copies, 19 reviews
The Best American Mystery Stories 2012 (Contributor) 110 copies, 2 reviews
Winter's Bone [2010 film] (Original novel) 91 copies, 2 reviews
A Hell of a Woman: An Anthology of Female Noir (Contributor) 72 copies, 1 review
Kansas City Noir (Contributor) 29 copies, 2 reviews
Surreal South (Contributor) 12 copies
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