Bastard out of Carolina
by: Dorothy Allison
G: Fiction, Classics, Novels, American/Southern, Coming of Age
Goodreads Reading Challenge: 31 out of 50
This novel was tough because it had an edge of realness to it. It told a story that was griping, chilling and hard to stomach all at once.
Ruth Anne ‘Bone’ Boatwright was born amidst chaos to a young woman, Anney Boatwright, who was barely out of adolescence. Bone was labeled a bastard because her father laid no claim to her and thus started her life out with strife before she even opened her eyes.
Being a Boatwright meant drinking, fighting, getting arrested, and having lots of babies. Bone’s mama tried to find love where there wasn’t any over and over again. First with Bone’s daddy and then with her first husband, Lyle Pearsons. Lyle was a great husband and loved Anney and Bone. Shortly after they welcomed a child into the world, Reese, Lyle had an accident leaving Anney with two kids and alone.
She was alone for a while never trusting a guy to love her and her kids, until one guy wore her down. Glen Waddell wanted in with the Boatwright’s, so he could gain respect of Anney’s brothers, and Anney wanted a daddy for her girls. The relationship wasn’t about love at first but then Anney fell, hard.
Glen was known for his quick temper and for getting fired because he was always fighting. Anney didn’t see that had a red flag because she came from a family of fighters. She accepted Glen and so did her family, even if they all didn’t like him. Glen never felt like he was good enough in the eyes of everyone, especially Bone.
All his frustrations were taking out on her and that caused her to grow up faster than any child should.
This book isn’t for the faint of heart. It deals with abuse in all forms, abandonment, and psychological damage. While it is a wonderful book beautifully written, I suggest mulling it over before reading. It took me a while to get through it and I’ve seen the movie so I knew what happened already. It’s not a quick read because everything that happens makes you feel. I loved it but it also sent chills down my spine whenever Daddy Glen was alone with Bone. This book is life altering in so many ways, but it is a story that happens in the world.