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Publisher's Summary

Set in early 1950s rural South Carolina, One Good Mama Bone chronicles Sarah Creamer's quest to find her "mama bone", after she is left to care for a boy who is not her own but instead is the product of an affair between her husband and her best friend and neighbor, a woman she calls "sister". When her husband drinks himself to death, Sarah, a dirt-poor homemaker with no family to rely on and the note on the farm long past due, must find a way for her and young Emerson Bridge to survive. But the more daunting obstacle is Sarah's fear that her mother's words, seared in her memory since she first heard them at the age of six, were a prophecy, "You ain't got you one good mama bone in you, girl."

When Sarah reads in the local newspaper that a boy won $680 with his Grand Champion steer at the recent 1951 Fat Cattle Show and Sale, she sees this as their financial salvation and finds a way to get Emerson Bridge a steer from a local farmer to compete in the 1952 show. But the young calf is unsettled at Sarah's farm, crying out in distress and growing louder as the night wears on. Some four miles away, the steer's mother hears his cries and breaks out of a barbed-wire fence to go in search of him. The next morning Sarah finds the young steer quiet, content, and nursing a large cow. Inspired by the mother cow's act of love, Sarah names her Mama Red. And so Sarah's education in motherhood begins with Mama Red as her teacher.

But Luther Dobbins, the man who sold Sarah the steer, has his sights set on winning too, and, like Sarah, he is desperate, but not for money. Dobbins is desperate for glory, wanting to regain his lost grand-champion dynasty, and he will stop at nothing to win. Emboldened by her lessons from Mama Red and her budding mama bone, Sarah is committed to victory even after she learns the winning steer's ultimate fate. Will she stop at nothing, even if it means betraying her teacher?

©2017 Bren McClain (P)2017 Bren McClain

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Simply the Best!

I look forward to any suggestions for my next book with Sincere gratitude and thanks!
To help you know what books I'm attracted to, I have read scores of Audible books, but loved these best:
One Good Mama Bone by Bren McClain
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
All of Sandra Dallas books
The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler
Peaches for Father Francis and all audio books by Joanne Harris
The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
All of the Robyn Carr Virgin River, Thunder Point and Grace Valley Series

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Had me at Chapter 1

Loved this book. Very well written. Main character, Sarah, doesn't realize just how strong a woman she is. She digs deep...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Do-not-miss

Bren McClain’s One Good Mama Bone is a brilliant tapestry of tribute to motherhood, South Carolina back-country, and the redemption of simple human kindness. There are cows. There is sewing. There is hunger. There are boys and their mothers. Be prepared for McClain’s beautiful writing to reach right down into your heart and build a world so poignant and real it will take your breath away. The audiobook is exquisitely narrated by the author. A do-not-miss!

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heartbreaking beauty

Such a raw story about how we all need love and good parents. I had to keep reminding myself that the characters weren't real. be prepared for a good cry.

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  • Nita
  • MIDLAND, MI, United States
  • 09-26-18

Wow!

I usually don't like author self reads but Bren knocks it outl of the park!

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Read by the author version FANTASTIC

This is the kind of sad and wonderful story that is good to read but better to be listened to - especially when the author reads it so PERFECTLY! Like listening to Angela’s Ashes read by the author which is one of the best story listening experiences I’ve ever had - One Good Mama Bone is also WAY more touching and beautiful when listened to by Bren McLain!

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Execellent

This story will remain with me for a long time. I did not want it to end. Excellent narration!

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  • MLW
  • Maryland
  • 07-22-17

A Must Listen

Would you consider the audio edition of One Good Mama Bone to be better than the print version?

Yes. From the first spoken word, you will be living in Sarah's world and experiencing her sadness and joy like you are standing right next to her.

What was one of the most memorable moments of One Good Mama Bone?

When Sarah first spoke her truth to Mama Red.

Which scene was your favorite?

The moment Sarah realizes how hard Mama Red fought to get to Lucky.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I found myself smiling, crying, and even shaking my head at times. I even sat in my office parking garage listening until the end of a chapter.

Any additional comments?

I read the print version first and have listened to the audio edition twice. It is a beautiful, moving story for all to experience.

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One Good Audio Book

What did you love best about One Good Mama Bone?

What's not to love? I only listen to audiobooks read by the authors. The depth of feeling and love this author has for her story adds so much dimension to the listener's enjoyment.

What did you like best about this story?

The ease with which the listener can identify with the characters in the story. The ability of the author to transport the listener into the story.

Which scene was your favorite?

I have no favorite scene. I loved the book as a whole. Each scene interacts with the next to create a complete listening experience.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me cry. And nothing makes me cry.

Any additional comments?

I wish everyone could read and/or listen to this wonderful story.

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Author narrator exceptional in her accents!

What made the experience of listening to One Good Mama Bone the most enjoyable?

The storyline and the accents

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sarah, because she became a great mother despite her own mother's deficiencies and lack of love

What about Bren McClain’s performance did you like?

Her accents. I could relate, for instance to the word "flice water" (flyswatter), which is the way I said it growing up. Her inflections and tonal variations also intrigued me.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Several, including the night Mama Red broke away and found her calf at the Craemer place. Also, when Emerson Bridge made the decision to proceed with the Grand Champion competition

Any additional comments?

One of my all-time favorite books to date