Friday, October 4, 2013

The Maid's Version by Daniel Woodrell

In 1929, a dance hall in a small Missouri town exploded, killing forty-two people.  One of them was pretty Ruby DeGeer, who, although poor and poorly educated, easily attracted the attention of wealthy men.  One of these men was banker Arthur Glencross, who employed Ruby’s older sister, Alma Dunahew, as his maid. Alma had good reason to believe that Glencross was responsible for the explosion and made herself few friends in town by saying so. Although there were others who could be suspected, Alma was unyielding in her certainty of his guilt.  Her fight for justice eventually turned into what was considered bizarre behavior.  Finally, practically catatonic, she was committed to the Work Farm. Her disappearance into her own misery left her youngest son, John Paul, motherless at an age when he still needed his mother. Dependent on odd jobs and the kindness of neighbors for most of his childhood and youth, John Paul resented his mother’s obsession and the loss of his family. The rift these hard times created between mother and son lasted into John Paul’s adulthood and Alma’s old age. In The Maid's Version, Alma tells her story to her grandson with hope of healing the rift. Author Daniel Woodrell is a well-respected author whose last book, Winter's Bone was made into a successful movie. In this book he draws a vivid picture of small town life in depression-era Middle America, clearly depicting the great divide between rich and poor, weak and powerful. 

Check out The Maid's Version @ the library! (Check out the new version of County Cat too!)