Wow was that a depressing book. I always have a hard time reading a narrative that has the characters speak with a thick accent. The characters in this book all speak as uneducated Southerners and while it certainly helped put me into the time period and community, it slows down my reading and really ruins my enjoyment. That is not a criticism of the book as much as it is my issue.
My criticism of the book is that it is almost all negative. It is hard to explain how negative the book is (right down to the ending) without giving many spoilers, so I will simply say that turning pages was a difficult process for me.