Beautifully written and agonizingly heartbreaking. It's clear why Dorothy Allison has been compared to Harper Lee, because Bone is reminiscent in so many ways of Scout, and both Allison and Lee show the good and the bad in southern society. Bone has the love of her family, which is probably the only thing that keeps this book from being unbearably sad. It's not a perfect family, not by a long shot, with its alcoholics and perennial jailbirds, but the love they have for each other is powerful, and makes me sad in some ways that myself is so small. The new postscript by the author that accompanies the 20th anniversary edition is also powerful, and shows the effect that one author can have on the way that problems of class and familial relations extend to all sections of American life.