On the walk back from Teardrop’s house, Ree sits on a stump to think. She imagines her ancestors, moonshiners and their wives, and the difficult lives they must have endured. Ree realizes that her father could be anywhere, and that in the past he often got himself into serious trouble. Once, high on crank, he’d gotten shot in the chest. Rather than driving to the hospital, he’d driven to a nearby tavern to show off the “glamorous” bullet hole. Jessup, Ree notes, is “tough” but “not much on planning.”
Ree contemplates whether or not her family has come very far at all from their dangerous moonshining roots. Her father has acted recklessly time and time again under the influence of his own product, and left his family to pick up the pieces of his messes.
Ree remembers that her mother Connie finally lost her mind when Ree was about twelve, after learning about Jessup’s girlfriend, April. Ree remembers that April taught kindergarten and owned a “pretty yellow house down around the Arkansas line,” and Ree wonders if that’s where Jessup is now.
Ree seems emotionally detached from the memory of her father’s infidelity and her mother’s subsequent breakdown, seeing it only as a potential clue to his whereabouts.