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Literature & Fiction

Released: 2013-09-03






The Maid's Version: A Novel by Daniel Woodrell

Description

The American master's first novel since Winter's Bone (2006) tells of a deadly dance hall fire and its impact over several generations.

Alma DeGeer Dunahew, the mother of three young boys, works as the maid for a prominent citizen and his family in West Table, Missouri. Her husband is mostly absent, and, in 1929, her scandalous, beloved younger sister is one of the 42 killed in an explosion at the local dance hall. Who is to blame? Mobsters from St. Louis? The embittered local gypsies? The preacher who railed against the loose morals of the waltzing couples? Or could it have been a colossal accident?

Alma thinks she knows the answer-and that its roots lie in a dangerous love affair. Her dogged pursuit of justice makes her an outcast and causes a long-standing rift with her own son. By telling her story to her grandson, she finally gains some solace-and peace for her sister. He is advised to "Tell it. Go on and tell it"-tell the story of his family's struggles, suspicions, secrets, and triumphs.
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Editoral Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2013 (also a Big Fall Books Preview 2013 selection): From the opening line--"She frightened me at every dawn that summer..."--Daniel Woodrell sets a spooky tone in his ninth novel (his first since Winter's Bone). Based on a true story, this slim volume reimagines the horrific night when dozens were killed in a mysterious explosion at an Ozarks dance hall, the night "all hell came callin'." Years later, in the summer of 1965, our narrator's grandmother tells him her version of that night’s events and, eventually, the boy’s father encourages him, "Go on and tell it." The result is a story of hard times and hard people, of secrets, betrayals, and revenge. The murky, resilient truth of that night ripples across the family’s future, unfolding on the page like a mash-up of Faulker, Flannery O'Connor, Johnny Cash, and the bible. This is an entirely original, brutal, and darkly elegant book, and Woodrell is a storyteller at the top of his game. --Neal Thompson

Book Details

Author: Daniel WoodrellPublisher: Little, Brown and ..Binding: HardcoverLanguage: EnglishPages: 176

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