Study Guide

Bastard Out of Carolina Tough-o-Meter

By Dorothy Allison

Tough-o-Meter

(2) Sea Level

The most difficult time that you'll have with this book will probably be keeping all of the Boatwrights straight (there are always new aunts and uncles and cousins cropping up to keep track of) and resisting the urge to eat biscuits and bacon every time there's a mouth-watering description of Southern food. Other than that (and the occasional 1950's South Carolina idiom), this book is really accessible as far as structure and language are concerned. Sometimes, scenes will shift within the same paragraph—for example, one character will say something and then Bone will switch to what another character says on the same subject—but it happens pretty intuitively.