Say something about yourself!
I almost stop buying this book because of the awful reviews from people who could not stand the novel because the detailed description of the rape. It is sad that they miss this wonderful story because of that. It is just not fair. Life is life, with beauty and ugliness, with good and bad, even if we avoid reading about it, it is just is. I rather read this novel, with the rape and everything than lose my time reading “The fifty shades of grey”, that is only garbage.
Additionally, the reader is amazing. Is one of the best one I recommend this book specially to mothers who prefer to close the eyes instead of standing up.
By the way, regarding the last chapter, the writer does not need to apologize for anything.
I know some people were turned off by the child molestation in this book, but the fact is that it happens so often to kids, maybe if we could read the signs of the child and the adults around them, more of it could be prevented. For these reasons, I found the story interesting, believable, and sadly informative. I felt such empathy for the protagonist, for almost more than the physical abuse, the mental abuse she endured. And FYI, the mom sucks..
I was disappointed in the story. Yes, it was very sad and unfortunate. But it was way to long and just repeated basically the same thing over and over.
This is one of those painful but important books.
Ruth Anne Boatwright, the bastard of the title, is born into a family of men who like to drink and fight and women who mostly marry young, have too many children and not enough support, but who manage to survive anyway. Her father was married to another woman and Ruth Anne, who is called by her family just Bone, never knew him. Her first stepfather died only a few years after marrying her mother. Her second stepfather comes to blame Bone for all the things that are wrong in his life – his own father’s rejection of him, his inability to keep a job or a house, and the death of his only son – Bone’s half-brother – at birth. He abuses her horribly, physically and otherwise. The systems that should protect, or at least avenge, her all fail. And even when her uncles take it upon themselves to punish him, it only seems to make matters worse. In the end Bone, a very insightful girl, is left angry and bitter.
A sad story, beautifully told. The narration is exactly right.
This should be required reading for all high school students. There are so many stories of love and heartbreak in this book. it's a great book club selection that will keep the conversation going for hours.
This book should be required reading for every 13 year old in the country.
This is the most accurate and brutally honest description of child abuse that I have ever read.
The self loathing, but secrecy, shame and victim-blaming that goes on is spot on.
"Your daddy will lose his job, go to jail and your family will be put out in the cold", mentality is what keeps these horrors from coming out.
All kids need this book.
Bone's story is heartbreaking. But it is heartbreaking in the best possible way. I wanted to wrap her up & hug her, but I also understood the intricacies of family dynamics in a situation such has hers. Bastard Out of Carolina was just so good! I couldn't stop listening & wish there was more to hear! A++
You don’t have to read all of this book to get what is probably its best part. You certainly should read it all – don’t get me wrong – but the essence of it comes to us in the first paragraphs when we hear Bone talk for the first time.
This is the story of a young girl growing into her full self in the face of a great deal of confusion (from her wild and colorful family) and more than her share of hostility (a childish, frightening and terribly abusive step-father). If the question underlying it is always, “What will she learn?” the answer comes to us in the first and really all the following lines: she will grow into her voice, a humorous, clever, musical and thoroughly original voice.
And, when you hear that voice in the first few lines of the book, you know the person speaking them is OK. You know, in other words, that our protagonist emerges from her tough times as a distinct and memorable self. It’s all there in the opening where she tells the story of her birth and her “accidentally” being recorded as a bastard at the county office. Think of a bud at the end of a branch; all the season’s growth is in it in miniature. If you pull it apart carefully enough, you can see everything that will follow.
So, without dismissing Bone’s sustained experiences – as she grapples with moving all the time, with discovering her sexuality, with her attraction to religion and gospel music and, above all, with negotiating her step-father’s growing abuse – this novel is the story of how a girl becomes a woman, how she learns enough to tell her own story.
The violence, naïve sexuality, and confusion about what it means to love someone can be harrowing. Toward the end – which you really must read to understand the depths from which Bone recovers – it gets harder and harder to endure. Bone calls out for someone to help her and, within the novel, she lacks the language to make herself heard. Seeing that, experiencing her when she has no voice, makes that “end” – the original and strong character who emerges as our narrator at the beginning – even more compelling.
Listen to the music of her every sentence. Yes, this book matters for what happens, but it’s memorable for how it happens, for the wonderful human voice at the heart of it.