Kathy's Reviews > Bastard Out of Carolina

Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
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Apr 17, 12

Read from April 12 to 16, 2012

Though not a "memoir" the auther used her own life events to create this "story" and this is not an easy story to read - neglect, poverty, abuse, dysfunctional family. Told from Bone's perspective -
a little girl born to an unwed mother, has an extended dysfunctional family, and eventually an abusive step-father.

I think the most difficult part of the book is when the mother is unwilling/unable to protect Bone, choosing the man over the child. But in reality, it happened during the 50's and still happens in today's society, especially when a woman is not financially independent. And although the expansive extended family was poor, drinking, and fighting most of the time, there were moments they were fiercely loyal and loving.

In the 20th anniversary addition at the end of the story the author sums it up beautifully:

"I didn't need to hold my mother up ridicule or condemnation. I understood too much the decisions she had been forced to make to keep her girls alive. I thought her life tragic, painful story, a lesson in why the women's movement, and rape counseling, and battered women shelters were so vital. I wanted the world to have been different for her - me and my sisters and all my cousins - and for all those I thought of as my tribe: raped children, working-class girls, and those raised to both love and hate their own as I had been"
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