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Every Bone a Prayer


The the story of one tough-as-nails girl whose choices are few but whose fight ...
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Discuss Every Bone a Prayer by Ashley Blooms:
How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

Created: 07/21/20

Replies: 17

Posted Jul. 21, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2332

How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Do you think the portrayal was accurate? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?


Posted Aug. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 295

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

One thinks of Appalachia as an area a bit secluded and unsophisticated. That's probably not true, but that's how it is portrayed. I think the book reinforced the stereotypes of people being superstitious and isolated. The story certainly wouldn't have had the same effect if set in New York!


Posted Aug. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianeh

Join Date: 08/01/16

Posts: 70

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

I have never visited this part of the country but have read a number of books in which the setting is Appalachia. As Marcia has said, the reader does get the impression that there is a preponderance of trailer parks and a lack of large social communities and resources. The poverty and abuse could also take place in a large city, and probably does, but the isolation of Misty's family and relatives heightens the sadness


Posted Aug. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kenanr

Join Date: 02/20/14

Posts: 28

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

My family is from rural North and South Carolina. While not in the mountains we have visited that part of the country many times. In many rural parts of the South the Church and mysticism are very tightly interwoven. I think that is why so much of the narrative was somehow "possible". The idea that there are those who can communicate with animals or objects is not so far fetched in those communities. There are women (in particular) who will still provide you with a love potion or remedies for colicky babies that are a little bit out of the realm of even homeopathy. I think it made sense that the story would take place in such a community and that the isolation of "hollers" would also add to the loneliness of our young protagonist.


Posted Aug. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Kate B

Join Date: 03/11/20

Posts: 11

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

I live in Appalachia, and I think that in these mountains, you can feel separated and alone in the hollers, or you can feel hugged and protected. And even at the top of a small mountain, you can feel open to the world, free to see the glory of the world, and free to to choose how to be in the world. I think this was a perfect setting for the novel.


Posted Aug. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mmr

Join Date: 08/06/20

Posts: 8

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

I have never lived or visited Appalachia. My knowledge of the area comes mostly from reading literature set in the Hollers of these mountains. It has always seemed like a secretive and mystical place to live. The book captured the setting perfectly.


Posted Aug. 07, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 87

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

It's so interesting to have some reviewers that live in this area! I thought it was the perfect setting as well. I don't know if the magical realism would have been as believable if it was set elsewhere.


Posted Aug. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Jessica F

Join Date: 05/23/20

Posts: 38

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

Appalachia was a perfect setting for the story. The small-town life and people who may not be as "smart" or "worldly" as others allows the reader to understand how these ideas can be believed by these folks. Without much interaction with others, their lives can take on different ideologies that may seem far-out and outlandish to city slickers.


Posted Aug. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LindaB.

Join Date: 06/11/14

Posts: 76

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

I have visited Appalachia and think this is the perfect setting for the book.


Posted Aug. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 448

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

Some places are particularly unique, and Appalachia is one of them. It is not a stereotype but a fact that some parts of the United States have more poverty which in turn leads to more trailer parks when the poverty coincides with isolation and lack of development (few, if any, apartment buildings to choose from.) Misty's story depended on her access to the forests of Appalachia as well as the socio-economic factors of that region. I have traveled through that area and could picture the setting well.


Posted Aug. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
analisea

Join Date: 08/11/20

Posts: 3

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

I have lived in Appalachia, and have family roots in Southwest Virginia and Kentucky. While I agree that an Appalachian community made sense as the setting, I think this was a surface level connection between plot and place. I have found a lot of authors either choose to set their work in a romanticized version of Appalachia (all green, wooded hollers full of birdsong and secluded log cabins or trailer homes) or an impoverished community (ie Hillbilly Elegy), and I wish more authors would take a more nuanced view of the social tensions at play in Appalachian communities.


Posted Aug. 12, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Sunflowersky1982

Join Date: 10/09/19

Posts: 10

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

Appalachia is a remote place which may have led to people having their own myths and beliefs in that region, as well as being superstitious. Appalachia also has higher than the average poverty rate than the rest of the country and the population has a low education level, all of which plays into the book's setting.


Posted Aug. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PiperUp

Join Date: 10/27/15

Posts: 138

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

I agree with analisea. I agree that the Appalachian community made sense as the setting, I also wish more authors would take a more nuanced view of the social tensions at play in Appalachian communities. It's becoming tiresome that stories set in Appalachia seem to be immune from literary criticism of using stereotypes to describe an entire segment of people despite this same criticism being applied to the use of stereotypes for other communities.


Posted Aug. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Harley's Mom

Join Date: 02/21/19

Posts: 21

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

I have never been to Appalachia but in the novels I've read based in this part of the country, the people seem very close to nature. Thus, it did not surprise me that Misty was able to communicate with the animals and the garden. If Misty was from a city or suburban area, it would have seemed much less realistic.


Posted Aug. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annl

Join Date: 04/03/17

Posts: 40

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

I lived near there and know many folks from that area. The characters and their lives are quite accurate.


Posted Aug. 19, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
julies

Join Date: 08/19/20

Posts: 2

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

I think it makes the story more believable. When people are struggling financially, physically, or in their relationships, it's easier to believe that their stress would need an outlet. Many of the things that took place in the book could be a result of the underlying stress in the family. Definitely not an excuse, but could be a contributor. I have never visited or lived in that par of the US.


Posted Aug. 22, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 66

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story? Have you visited or lived in that part of the United States, and if so, what was your experience like?

I have never visited the area. I too learn about the area from books that I have read. I appreciate the input from those above who have more first-hand knowledge than I. I feel it is an appropriate setting. I also think a 1960's era commune would have also worked!


Posted Sep. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 448

RE: How do you believe the book's setting in Appalachia affected the story?

I thought the setting was key to the story. Appalachia feels so remote, different, and consequently magical that because the story was set there, it seemed more possible.

I did visit Appalachia when I was a young woman, as part of a church group going there to help elderly residents with home repairs. Coming from a big city, I was stunned by the poverty I encountered, and how remote it felt. I wasn't sure how people could "live like that" - in shacks, no running water, bathroom out back, etc...


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