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Bastard out of Carolina

Reviewed by: Karin

The novel Bastard out of Carolina tells the story of a young girl named Ruth Anne (Bone) growing up and learning to cope with the hardships that life brings. The author, Dorothy Allison, had a very similar upbringing to Bone, as she wrote it about an unmarried 15-year-old girl giving birth to a daughter in the small town of Greenville, South Carolina, and later an abusive step-dad. This fact adds a new dimension to the story with the knowledge that it is semi-autobiographical. The story is a great read due to its extremely touching and exciting story line. As Bone learns the ways of adult life all too quickly, she also learns values and important life lessons. Because the book takes on such a colloquial tone, readers can put themselves into the southern small town setting, amidst quirky and caring family members. All characters introduced into the book have depth and personality, and few are un-relatable. This shows readers the exact family dynamics as they follow Bone through her life. The book can be a bit dark at times, such as when the characters struggle through abuse, poverty, death, and heartbreak, but each instance adds something essential to the plot. As Bone struggles while growing up, readers follow, and see the world through the eyes of a young girl put in a difficult situation. This book will capture the hearts of anyone, and is hard to put down once started.  

About the Reviewer

City: La Crosse
Date Reviewed: 6/14/2012