For Immediate Release
WOMEN’S NATIONAL BOOK ASSOCIATION CHOOSES
“ONE GOOD MAMA BONE” FOR GREAT GROUP READS
(September 28, 2017, Knoxville, TN) The Women’s National Book Association has selected Bren McClain’s first novel, ONE GOOD MAMA BONE, for Great Group Reads 2017, a list recommending great new books for reading groups. The novel was one of only twenty titles selected. The Great Group Readslist is announced annually in time for National Reading Group Month in October.
ONE GOOD MAMA BONE is an unforgettable story about motherhood, the human-animal bond, poverty, and redemption. Set in rural South Carolina in the 1950’s, the novel is the story of widowed and dirt-poor single mother, Sarah Creamer, who is raising the son her best friend had with Sarah’s husband. In an inspired moment, Sarah buys a steer for her son. They hope to raise the steer up and enter it in the Fat Cattle Show & Sale for a chance to win the prize money. But the money comes from the sale of the animal, who will be slaughtered, something neither innocent heart understands. Until they do.
With the steer comes Mama Red, the calf’s mother, who breaks free from wire fencing to find her baby miles away. Sarah is touched by Mama Red’s compassion and from the very first forms a special bond with her. Over time, Sarah learns how to mother by watching Mama Red. Then, as a powerful neighbor connives his way toward a win for his own son in the Fat Cattle Show & Sale, they all discover –too late—what they most prize has nothing to do with prizes or 4-H.
With a starred Booklist and other excellent reviews, ONE GOOD MAMA BONE joins the ranks of The Art of Racing in the Rain, Water for Elephants, and even Charlotte’s Web in its affecting depiction of animals-as-teachers and announces Bren McClain as an important new voice.
Bren McClain was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, on a beef cattle and grain farm. She has a degree in English from Furman University; is an experienced media relations, radio, and television news professional; and currently works as a communications confidence coach. The novel was long-listed for the 2018 Crook’s Corner Book Prize, named a 2017 Okra pick by the Southeastern Independent Booksellers Alliance and made a Pulpwood Queens worldwide book club selection. Bren is a two-time winner of the South Carolina Fiction Project and the recipient of the 2005 Fiction Fellowship by the South Carolina Arts Commission. She is at work on her next novel, Took, which received the gold medal for the 2016 William Faulkner –William Wisdom Novel-in-Progress. Bren makes her home on 100 acres outside of Nashville, TN. Find her online at www.brenmcclain.com.
ONE GOOD MAMA BONE was published by Story River Books/The University of South Carolina Press in February 2017.
SELECTED PRAISE FOR ONE GOOD MAMA BONE
“First-time novelist McClain draws on her family’s history in the rural South to create a cast of deeply relatable characters, both human and animal, who readers will find themselves rooting for until the very last page.”—Booklist, starred review
“Emotional bonds between humans and animals have long been written about, but never has the bond between a woman and a mother cow been placed front and center. It’s about time. The world is ready for this true portrait of a mother cow’s compassion and the lessons she has to teach us all. This is an important story whose time has come.”—Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary
“McClain’s first novel resists predictability and instead weaves together questions about poverty, class, violence, and religion. . . . A thought-provoking story about families and the animals who sustain them.”—Kirkus Reviews
“One Good Mama Bone is a true American story because it is a hybrid of genres: The plot is Southern Gothic, the twists and turns are fairytale, the prose and characters are folkloric….The homely, comfortable stitching of the prose evokes rural, hardscrabble lives, shot through with lovely flourishes of clean-lined poetry.”–The Washington Independent Review of Books
“It’s a novel with a heart-breaking beginning whose conclusion is morally and emotionally satisfying…”—Southern Literary Review
RE: ONE GOOD MAMA BONE
By Bren McClain
With a foreword by Mary Alice Monroe
Story River Books/The University of South Carolina Press; ISBN: 978-1-61117-746-6, 280 pages, $27.99 HC, Fiction/First Novel
ISBN: 978-1-61117-747-3 $19.99 e-book
For more information, please contact:
Caitlin Hamilton Summie, President
Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity, LLC
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