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An Afternoon with Bren McClain

Join author Bren McClain for a reading and signing of her debut novel, One Good Mama Bone, which explores the strengths and limitations of parental love, the healing power of the human-animal bond, and the ethical dilemmas of raising animals for food.

Set in early 1950s, rural South Carolina, One Good Mama Bone chronicles Sarah Creamer's quest to find her mama bone, after she is left to care for a boy who is the product of an affair between her husband and her best friend. When her husband drinks himself to death, Sarah, a dirt-poor homemaker with no family and the note on the farm long past due, must find a way for her and the boy to survive. When Sarah reads in the local newspaper that a boy won $680 with his Grand Champion steer at the 1951 Fat Cattle Show & Sale, she sees this as their financial salvation and purchases a steer..

McClain's writing is distinguished by a sophisticated and detailed portrayal of the day-to-day realities of rural poverty and an authentic sense of time and place that marks the best southern fiction. Her characters transcend their archetypes and her animal-as-teacher theme recalls the likes of Water for Elephants and The Art of Racing in the Rain.

"McClain’s first novel resists predictability and instead weaves together questions about poverty, class, violence, and religion as these two families question what parent-child relationships should be." -- Kirkus Reviews