This past week I read "Winter's Bone" by Daniel Woodrell.
I decided to read this book after watching the movie, I have to say both are excellent. The story is about Ree, a teenage girl who has to take care of her two younger brothers and her sick mother, while her father is frequently away doing nefarious activities (usually making meth). Ree is forced to confront dangerous family members and neighbors in search of her father, who if he doesn't show up for a court date, the bail company will take their house.
The reason I like this book, even though it is dark and depressing, is that the content is real. Although I don't live in the Ozarks, I do live in an area of the country very much drowning in drugs and unfortunately education is not a huge priority. Ree is a strong female character, who does all she has to do to keep her family alive. Ree's determination and her fight make the book, she never gives up despite the myriad of obstacles and people in her way.
I recommend this book for anyone who likes gritty, raw books about real social problems with strong female characters. The movie was also excellent.