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

by Dorothy Allison

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3,868921,331 (4.02)148
Member:beachmama43
Title:Bastard out of Carolina: (Plume Essential Edition)
Authors:Dorothy Allison
Info:Plume (2005), Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

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» See also 148 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
Excellent read. ( )
  Greymowser | Jan 23, 2016 |
Very sad story but the writing was incredible. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Very sad story but the writing was incredible. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Ruth Ann Boatwright was labeled a bastard at birth by the Greenville County, SC, courthouse as her mother Anney was unmarried at the time of Ruth Ann's birth and in the 1950's that's the way it was. Ruth Ann, nicknamed 'Bone' by her little sister Reese, grew up dirt poor amid countless numbers of aunts, uncles and cousins who spent their days drifting between jobs and their nights drinking and fighting. When Anney fell in love and married Glen it seemed as if Ruth Ann would finally have the loving family that she had longed for. "Daddy Glen" started out as a loving man but his years of bottled-up anger at his own cold-hearted father needed an outlet and his sights set on Ruth Ann. He began to physically and sexually abuse the child whenever his rage boiled out of control. Ruth Ann was afraid to tell anyone what was happening, although Anney was aware that he beat the girl. Ruth Ann's hatred for "Daddy Glen" soured her outlook on life so much that she began to hate everyone but most especially herself.

The only reason I gave this book 4 stars is because it is so well written but it's almost like that train wreck that you just have to slow down and look at but you are horrified at the same time. The subject matter is awful and the story is unrelentingly depressing at times. I seriously want to grab Anney and shake her until she gives any good reason for standing by while her child is beaten with belts. Inexcusable. As for Glen, he needs to meet up with Lorena Bobbit. If you can stomach the abusive relationships this is a book worth reading.
( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
This is a fine work of literary fiction centering on a young girl coming of age in 1950’s rural South, and fighting the label of “trash” attached to her.

Ruth Anne (“Bone”) is born to her extremely beautiful 15-year-old mother shortly after an auto accident. In the confusion at the hospital her grandmother and aunt can’t agree on her name and as a result her birth certificate bears the label “Illegitimate.” Her grandmother insists this makes no difference; the baby is still part of the Boatwright clan, who are tight-knit despite their drinking, fighting and womanizing. But Bone’s mother, Anney, is mortified and determined to legitimize her daughter. When Anney marries Glen, the son of a well-to-do dairyman, it seems her life is set on the right path. However, when their first child is stillborn, Glen begins to take out his frustrations on Bone. Unable to fully understand, and ashamed to admit what is really happening, Bone nurtures her rage silently, while Anney, unaware of the extent of the abuse, stands by her man and dreams of a better life for her family.

There are moments of brilliant writing in this work. I was particularly grateful for occasional laugh-out-loud passages (especially when Bone is describing her own lack of singing talent). Allison does a fine job of “showing” us the characters, rather than telling us what they are like. Bone’s ability to show compassion despite her rage is admirable. But she IS a child, and cannot be expected to always behave nobly. This is an emotionally wrenching read; some of the scenes are just horrific.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
For Mama Ruth Gibson Allison 1935-1990
First words
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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