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Bastard out of Carolina: (Plume Essential…

Bastard out of Carolina: (Plume Essential Edition) (edition 2005)

by Dorothy Allison

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Title:Bastard out of Carolina: (Plume Essential Edition)
Authors:Dorothy Allison
Info:Plume (2005), Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

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A classic piece of Americana, & a good addition to the American canon. Bastard Out of Carolina captures a place & time, transporting the reader to it effortlessly. Dorothy Allison writes an outstanding story of family, of abuse, of living in the shadows - of society, of one's own family. It's a curious tale: Bone, the main character, is surrounded by love, yet she clearly feels unloved. She does not feel the strength of her mother's love. And the love of her aunts & uncles can't fill that hole. What plays out because of that is tragic, but sadly too common.

Allison takes a lot of risks with this book, & they all pay off. First, it's not easy writing as a child. A child is not meant to catch all the innuendo. But Bone lives a meaner existence than most children, & thus knows more than another child her age would. So she gets a lot of it. And what she can't tell us explicitly, Allison conveys to her adult readers deftly. Second, she delves into a child's sexuality. I can't remember the last time I saw this done; I've certainly never had a main character that was a child address it. It's absolutely true to the story arc for her to do this. And it illuminates the shadows Bone is living in. Still, it was a brave choice for Allison to make. And it makes the book all the better for it.

Initially, I didn't think I would go past Chapter 2. At times this book is a slow slog, & it's my biggest mark against it. But once you feel hooked, relax into it & let it take you. You'll be glad to have this one under your belt. ( )
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
This semi-autobiographical novel about Bone, the illegitimate daughter of Anney Boatwright. Despite their poverty, and the alcoholism of some of the uncles, Bone has a fairly decent childhood with a loving mother and extended family until her mother marries Daddy Glenn. After that, Bone suffers increasingly serious abuse from Daddy Glenn, and her mother increasingly turns a blind eye to Daddy Glenn's abusive actions. I had a difficult time accepting that a mother who had been presented so loving as Anney would really choose the abusive Daddy Glenn over her daughter.

2 1/2 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | May 2, 2016 |
Read this book to learn about Little Pammy, Blessed of God. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
Excellent read. ( )
  Greymowser | Jan 23, 2016 |
Very sad story but the writing was incredible. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
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People pay for what they do, and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it simply: by the lives they lead.

-James Baldwin
For Mama Ruth Gibson Allison 1935-1990
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I've been called Bone all my life, but my name's Ruth Anne.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
This book is fiction, but it comes so real with the feeling of an amateur autobiography. The author is so descriptive, she takes you to the time and place and puts you right there watching it all happen. It was a very captivating, but sad story.
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Ruth Ann Boatwright, a South Carolina bastard, tells her life with her family and the emotional and physical violence she experiences.

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