before there was Ms. Flynn, there was Dorthy Allison. there is no escaping it, this is true, defining, and cringe worthy. It does not capitalize on horrible situations, nor do the horrible and vile events portrayed in this novel request your attention away from the rest of the writing. This one is all about character relationships, with self, and others—the entire landscape, rather than events. Sure, child abuse is front and center, but its how the characters react to these events that is truly important. It's told in first person.the writing is simplistic, screened (careful, slightly rigid, and expertly constructed through the eyes of a young child. here are some examples of this type of writing style:“Mama learned to laugh with them, before they could laugh at her, and to do it so well no one could be sure what she really thought or felt.” “My heart broke all over again. I wanted my life back, my mama, but I knew I would never have that. The child I had been was gone with the child she had been. We were new people, and we didn't know each other anymore. I shook my head desperately.” “I was no Cherokee. I was no warrior. I was nobody special. I was just a girl, scared and angry. When I saw myself in Daddy Glen's eyes, I wanted to die. No, I wanted to be already dead, cold and gone. Everything felt hopeless. He looked at me and I was ashamed of myself. It was like sliding down an endless hole, seeing myself at the bottom, dirty, ragged, poor, stupid.” ragged is what i felt after reading this one. then my boyfriend at the time would reference it, saying "how did you like so and so, etc" and id reply "huh"..... you tricky tricky Dorthy Allison. The writing is so simple, mundane at times, that I would sweep through pages without taking note of the importance of words, phrases, behaviors, interactions etc. I forgot to pace myself, and within two days finished this book (in two sittings). Oh, a mistake. and, RE-READ. How the book handles child abuse is subtle at times, and delivered in such a casual way that the reader may, like i did, carelessly disregard it. I for one attribute this to pure laziness. After a careful, and respectful re-read the novel was recaptured in a way that it was intended. The child abuse seeps into the character's lives, and into the readers mind.... slowly and builds up:"As for the name of the father, Granny refused to speak it after she had run him out of town for messing with her daughter, and Aunt Ruth had never been sure of his last name anyway. They tried to get away with just scribbling something down, but if the hospital didn't mind how a baby's middle name was spelled, they were definite about having a father's last name. So Granny gave one and Ruth gave another, the clerk got mad, and there I was - certified a bastard by the state of South Carolina.""People talked about Glen's temper and his hands. He didn't drink, didn't mess around, didn't even talk dirty, but the air around him seemed to hum with vibration and his hands were enormous. They hung like baseball mitts at the end of his short, tight-muscled arms. On his slender, small-boned frame, they were startling, incongruous, constantly in motion, and the only evidence of just how strong he was."The prose, juxtaposes timidness with rawness as it explores events, terrible terrible events that shape bone's life and changes her history forever. It is with this simple, yet expertly crafted writing style that Allison conveys a sense of fragility and tragedy. I felt caught in the middle of the street, head lights staring at me squarely in the face, but for some reason unable to move; unable to look away. You feel dirty, used, and equally abused as you finish the book, but not in the same way many respond to with Flynn's work. However, one must realize that this story does not shy away from the horrors of child abuse. In fact, a school district in FREMONT, Calif banned the book from its English supplemental reading list, and Canada's Maritime Film Classification Board banned its movie release—it was later released, however. in the end, the branding of "illegitimate" is lifted from dear "bone"—both psychologically as well as tangibly—, and the healing can continue. In a place as dark as her childhood, one wonders how much healing she is capable of. Perhaps its hope, or the frail semblance, the fleeting idea, that things may get better:"The worst thing in the world was the way I felt when I wanted us to be like the families in the books in the library, when I just wanted Daddy Glen to love me like the father in Robinson Crusoe."Oh but the journey is long, Bone, and it will bring you down into the deepest depths of the ocean, before it lets you up for a sharp gasp of salted air—and this is only momentary reprieve—.