- Series: Story River Books
- Hardcover: 280 pages
- Publisher: University of South Carolina Press; First Edition edition (February 14, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1611177464
- ISBN-13: 978-1611177466
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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One Good Mama Bone: A Novel (Story River Books) Hardcover – February 14, 2017
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“McClain’s first novel resists predictability and instead weaves together questions about poverty, class, violence, and religion. . . . A thought-provoking story about families and the animals who sustain them.”―Kirkus Reviews
“First-time novelist McClain draws on her family’s history in the rural South to create a cast of deeply relatable characters, both human and animal, who readers will find themselves rooting for until the very last page.”―Booklist (starred review)
"Emotional bonds between humans and animals have long been written about, but never has the bond between a woman and a mother cow been placed front and center. It’s about time. The world is ready for this true portrait of a mother cow’s compassion and the lessons she has to teach us all. This is an important story whose time has come."― Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary
"Bren McClain’s brilliant and ravishingly moving novel speaks eloquently for all of us who find our deepest humanity intimately connected with all the sentient creatures around us. Humane and universal, One Good Mama Bone is an instant classic.”―Robert Olen Butler, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning short-story collection, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
“One Good Mama Bone is everything that Bren [McClain] is―smart, confident, unflinchingly honest, witty, wise, and possessing a reassuring wisdom and kindness that carries the reader from the story’s heartbreaking beginnings to a morally and emotionally satisfying conclusion. McClain’s debut novel is a tour de force! . . . This is a novel that just might break your heart, and it might well heal it too, but with both acts Bren McClain will remind you of why each of us is entrusted with a heart in the first place.”―Mary Alice Monroe, from the foreword
"Bren McClain writes of elemental things with grace, wisdom, and power. One Good Mama Bone speaks with a quiet authority that comes through on every page."―Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
About the Author
Bren McClain was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, on a beef cattle and grain farm. She has a degree in English from Furman University; is an experienced media relations, radio, and television news professional; and currently works as a communications confidence coach. She is a two-time winner of the South Carolina Fiction Project and the recipient of the 2005 Fiction Fellowship by the South Carolina Arts Commission. An excerpt from One Good Mama Bone was named a 2012 finalist for the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Award for a Novel-in-Progress. This is McClain’s first novel.
New York Times best-selling author Mary Alice Monroe is the author of The Beach House, Skyward, Sweetgrass, Swimming Lessons, Time Is a River, Last Light over Carolina, The Butterfly's Daughter, and other books.
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Top Customer Reviews
You’ll read plenty of plot summaries in other reviews. I won't get into that here because I want to try to convey the magic of this story, the symphonic prose that rises and swells as Bren McLain, a brave, inventive artist, moves us through the lives of characters, including that sweet, brave mama cow, who remind us of ourselves. The story awakens us to the fact that we are connected to each other in ways we may never know. McLain’s genius is in making the connections for us, through people, land, abundance, and lack. The story’s exquisite details and language generate deep feelings, and we can’t help but connect with at least one of the imperfect souls she brings to life. That’s part of the connectedness theme of “One Good Mama Bone.”
Someone needed to tell this story, and I thank God for sending it to Bren McLain to tell. From the story’s harrowing beginning through its unexpected ending, this brilliant writer uses her gift to fill us with emotions we’d perhaps buried as we plow through our own challenges. The story has bleak, seemingly hopeless moments, but through it all, there is the promise of redemption and joy. It’s a maelstrom of emotions, to be sure, but this book will leave you satisfied and restored. Bren, you got it, and us, right. You sure did.