Winter’s Bone Chapters 7-9 Summary & Analysis

Daniel Woodrell

Winter’s Bone

  • 45-page comprehensive study guide
  • Features 35 chapter summaries and 6 sections of expert analysis
  • Written by a literary scholar with a PhD in English Literature
Access Full Summary

Winter’s Bone Chapters 7-9 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 7

Ree decides to visit her childhood friend Gail Lockrum on her way home. Gail has a strained marriage with Floyd Langan, whom she married when she found out she was pregnant. Gail, Floyd, and their son, Ned, share a trailer next to his parents’, who help with the baby. Gail and Floyd’s marital problems revolve around his ongoing affair with Heather Powney, whom he had been dating since junior high, before Gail and Floyd’s brief affair destroyed their relationship. Gail struggles with her sudden and unwanted marriage as well as her new baby; during her visit, Ree massages Gail and plucks burrs from her hair.

Ree tells Gail about her father’s disappearance and its potential consequences and explains her need to visit Jessup’s old girlfriend, April. Ree and Gail hope to borrow Floyd’s car, but he refuses to let Gail drive it. Ree is angered by Floyd’s controlling nature and tells Gail: “You never used to eat no shit” (35). Gail withdraws into herself after this conversation and asks Ree to leave so that she can take a nap. As she leaves, Floyd tells her that she does not understand the difficulties of finding oneself married to a stranger after a drunken night together. As Ree leaves, he further explains, “Nobody here wants to be awful It’s just nobody here knows all the rules yet, and that makes a rocky time” (37).

Chapter 8

Ree continues her walk home. Though she attempts to listen to the Alpine Dusk album, she finds the sounds match the winter mountain setting too well and changes to The Sounds of Tropical Dawn. She imagines an exotic beach setting in detail as she sits on a cold rock in the Ozarks.

Chapter 9

Ree washes her mother’s hair, making sure that her brothers are paying attention and learning how to do it. The boys are quickly distracted by Wishbone playing on PBS in the background, however, leaving Ree to reminisce about her mother’s former beauty and glamour. As Ree combs her mother’s hair, she remembers how her mother used to dress up to go dancing when Jessup…

This is just a preview. The entire section has 797 words. Click below to download the full study guide for Winter’s Bone.