My jaw - even my teeth - hurt for several hours afterward from clenching. There is always someone there to listen. These loving actions and words can easily turn into anger and bring out the monster within. Juries were uncomfortable with the facts that poured out like a stream of sewage. Lather, rinse, repeat repeat repeat. I was arguing for the innocence and worth of that child — I who had never believed in my own innocence. I know that is a book loved by many but just and ok read for me.
But part of what makes Bastard Out of Carolina a great novel is that it revels in the fact that life is not always clear cut. With these few scenes, the mood of the book is set. Overall, I thought the premise of this book was excellent - there were some truly heartbreaking scenes, particularly the ending, and some incredibly shocking moments. In Gree Dorothy Allison pissed a few people off when she first wrote this novel. I thought as I laid there, my tormentor, my step-father made derisive comments to the movie—I fantasized for the thousandth time standing up with power; 6 feet tall, armed, blazing. I reached out and caught hold of the porcelain, trying not to grab at him, not to touch him. It's not logged down with too much detail, or badly executed, or anything like that.
The novel opens with the birth of main character and narrator of the story, Ruth Anne nicknamed Bone , the illegitimate daughter of a 15-year-old member of the dirt poor Boatwright clan. Children don't usually become sexually active at such a young age. Dorothy Allison was an abused child and this debut comes from what she knew. I shook with fear and indignation. . It is a family saga with violence, teenage pregnancy, unemployment, and instability at its core.
I enjoyed all of the music references, and how song, many times, moved the story along. I know that some of you will excell in school and some of you will not. The implication is that Bone forgives her mother although the mother and step-father move away from the area and Raylene, the gay aunt, says her mother will never forgive herself. Every new house made him happy for a little while, and we tried to extend that period of relative calm as much as possible, keeping everything clean and neat. We all did; my mother, him, the boys we watched it together in the living room.
I saw the film adaptation of Bastard Out Of Carolina. I didn't realize that this was one of the most depressing tales of physical and sexual abuse. Dorothy Allison wrote about her own experiences, and she wanted the book to be an honest account of something that most people don't want to acknowledge exists. To watch this little girls battle with herself, her mom, daddy glen, and family members only to be left alone is shocking. His left hand reached for me, caught my shoulder, pulled me over his left leg. For those who say they love us, how can we really know unless they share it in a loving manner.
Insult me, make me angry, make me laugh, make me cry, leave my mouth agape from disbelief at your crude renunciations of what I thought was orthodox--all things that good books do. I was just a girl, scared and angry. It was the book, page 300, near the end after Bone has been beaten and raped and her mama has left her to be with Daddy-Glen that I read the words that have been the only explanation that could ever come close. Anney discovers the rape and retaliates by breaking a bottle over Glen's head, causing him to bleed. At times she would get so mad that she wanted to fight him, and other times she just wanted to disappear.
Allison takes even the minor characters beyond mere caricatures. Glen comes from a good family, a family that owns their houses and goes into professions like lawyering and doctoring. The protagonist, nicknamed Bone, is a victim of poverty and physical abuse, including sexual abuse. I had the ability to talk with children. Besides sharing her motivations for writing the novel, Allison also discussed how some schools around the country have censored and banned the book, and how she grieved whenever she heard such news.
That said, I don't know if I can recommend this novel because it was so grim. I fully submit that this is a matter of personal taste, not one of literary ideals or whatever. I would not, would not, would not scream. I liked how they were only described and not explored. It's like this depressing by-product of the Victim Narrative That Resists At All Costs Being Labeled A Victim Narrative. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.