Minette Lauren


Bastard out of Carolina, by Dorothy Allison

A soulful story of a young girl, nicknamed Bone, that outlines the love and abuse she suffers from the early years of childhood to young adulthood. Absorbing the family stories told and watching her wild uncles and tired aunts, Bone learns what the role of adulthood means.

At the tender age of six, waiting for her mother to bear a third child with her second husband, Bone experiences what life is like when thrust into the wrong hands.

Wading through the fetid waters of growing up a Boatwright in Greenville, South Carolina, Bone morphs into a sassy twelve-year-old with nothing left to lose. Through pain, desperation and indignation, she tries to hide the shame she feels to keep the peace and to be normal. All she craves is the love of the one person she needs most, her momma.

Southern born and poor, life isn’t easy, but with the love and heavy hand of her stepdaddy Glenn, she emerges angry, disillusioned and desperate for acceptance and freedom. Bone’s desire to find her true self becomes a farce as she looks around at the adults in her family, who keep making bad decisions.

Dorothy Allison pens a compelling story that shines a light on the effects of sexual and physical abuse, and reflects the lifetime sentences of the young, innocent and powerless. In an attempt to show how children can never control the cruel intentions of inappropriate adult’s actions, Bastard Out of Carolina will make you feel sad, helpless and angry emotions, but it’s a wonderful and moving read. The hardest part to stomach is the Afterward at the end. Written to spread awareness, Bastard out of Carolina is still being censored and banned. I’ve met Bone-girls and Bone-boys who have grown into shattered or broken adults. Looking away will never help to stop the cycle of abuse. I hope many people will find this book and share its content in the hope that others can be saved from the lifetime of pain that Bone suffered.


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