During the beginning of this book my mind kept swaying to the childhood rhyme. According to Wikipedia:
"Sticks and Stones" is an English language children's rhyme. It persuades the child victim of name-calling to ignore the taunt, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm and good-natured. It is reported to have appeared in The Christian Recorder of March 1862, a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, where it is presented as an "old adage" in this form:
Sticks and stones will break my bones
But words will never harm me.
The phrase also appeared in 1872, where it is presented as advice in Tappy's Chicks: and Other Links Between Nature and Human Nature, by Mrs. George Cupples. The version used in that work runs:
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But names will never hurt me.
This sentiment is reflected in/reflects the common law of civil assault, which holds that mere name-calling does not give rise to a cause of action, while putting someone in fear of physical violence does.
Now we can all relate to the news today with people calling each other names and carrying on in public like our mother's would say: like a bunch of hoodlums. However Anney just couldn't get over the designation for her daughter as 'bastard' and strove to clear it off her birth certificate. Do you have any designations that 'bother' you? I was always put off by the term 'housewife'. It bothered me. I guess there are worse things to be called but even up to today our tax return has the designation 'Family Manager' instead. Somehow words can be harmful to our sense of worth if you let them.
Uncle Earl was a savior to Bone in my estimation. He was a philosopher who supported his family but couldn't get his own life together. Here is a quote: It's the way of things. one day you're all family together, fighting and hugging from one moment to the next and then it's all gone. You're off making your own family, scared of what's coming next and Lord, things have a way of running faster and faster all the time.
I loved it when Bone got 'religion'! She wanted to sing like Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, etc. 'More than anything in the world I decided I wanted to be one of the little girls in white fringed vests with silver and gold embroidered crosses - the ones who sang on the revival circuit. .......There had to be a way to stretch my voice, to sing the way I dreamed I could." That girl was 'Making a joyful Noise!' That is so me and I'll be so many of you! Deep in our hearts we are the best singers in the world but... alas, we are usually off key and couldn't really sing for our suppers.
Here's one more societal question for you: When Bone decided to 'take the hook and chain to bed, etc.' I was a little confused but then I thought about all those young people today who wear chains and chain accessories and wonder if it is for emotional safety and control when they don't feel like they have any? Personally I would find it difficult to sleep with metal like that.
How did you like this book? I'll be back in a week or so with some additional comments.