First book by author and is semi-autobiographical, it is set in Greenville, South Carolina in the 50's. For some reason I had originally thought this was the story of a black girl, then realized that Ruth "Bones" Boatwright is white. This is a story of family and family loyalties, Bone suffers abuse at the hands of her stepfather, Daddy Glen, and this book is about not only how Bone deals with the abuse, but how her whole family deals with it. Loyalties are tested and hard choices are made. The family is lower-class and poor in the South in the 50's and 60's and the family members often stick to their traditional gender stereotypes. I thought it was really well written, and the story was engaging. It was a can't put down read for me. Being such a controversial book, I have read plenty on the story line, and I may have even seen the movie once. So I knew the general storyline before I read, but that didn't stop me from wanting to know what would happen next. I cried that whole last chapter because I was so invested in the characters.