Lindas Book Obsession Reviews “One Good Mama Bone” by Bren McClane Story River Books, February 2017
WOW!!!Kudos to Bren McClane, Author of “One Good Mama Bone”, for such a captivating, insightful, intense, emotional, and thought- provoking novel. Bren McClane’s vivid descriptions of the rural South Carolina landscape in the early 1950’s and her colorful cast of characters are absolutely amazing. The Genres for this novel are Fiction and Historical Fiction. The author weaves many important topics together to tell this story. One of the questions that comes to mind, Is it Nature or Nurture that causes human being’s behavior?
The author does give us a glimpse of some of the characters as they are growing up, and how their parents place certain expectations, and show lack of parenting skills. For example, Sarah Creamer, was brought up being told she was too fat to go to church and her mother keeps repeating that “Sarah doesn’t have one good mama bone in her'”. Now Sarah is an adult and finds herself in charge of a little boy that was brought into the world by her best friend and husband. Despite their betrayal, Sarah is on hand to help with the delivery of a little boy. The mother kills herself, leaving Sarah holding the baby. Sarah remembers her mother’s word, that ” she doesn’t have one good mama bone in her”, and panics. Sarah and her husband bring up the baby, Emerson Bridge.
When Emerson Bridge, turns seven, Sarah’s husband dies, leaving her in dire circumstances. They live in poverty, and barely have enough to eat. Sarah sews dresses and sells them to try to survive. Sarah owes so much money to many people. Sarah hears of an opportunity to make money and give her son a friend. There is a contest where young boys can help their steer grow, and win prize money. Some of the boys don’t realize what will happen to their steer. His mother buys the calf from Luther Dobbins, who will do anything to win this contest. Luther has a son the same age as Emerson.
Emerson Bridge names his calf Lucky. Lucky is crying all night and the next morning, they find that his mother has made it four miles and is feeding him. Sarah calls the Mama Cow, “Mama Red”, and starts learning some mothering skills from the cow. Sarah is really trying to find her “Mama Bone”.
I appreciate that Bren McClane discusses how important animals are to humans. It is mentioned that humans should be kind to animals. Important topics such as parenting, being a Mother and a Father, compassion, religion, family, emotional support, friendship, love and hope are seen in this story. There are twists and turns , betrayals, loyalty, tragedy, love and hope. I would highly recommend this fantastic novel for those readers who love a well written story.