Study Guide

Love Ball Dotson in Belle Prater's Boy

By Ruth White

Love Ball Dotson

Love Ball Dotson is Gypsy's mother as well as one of the prettiest ladies in town. Like, for real:

My mama was very beautiful. Everybody said so. And she smelled good all the time—like Christmas candy. And her hair put you in mind of one of those Halo shampoo ads. (1.33)

But just like Gypsy's beauty doesn't define her, Love is also more than her physical appearance. She is a kind woman, too, as evidenced by the fact that she takes care of Blind Benny without being public about it—she doesn't want praise, she just wants to do the right thing.

Love is also a good and caring mother, though her relationship with Gypsy can skate on the surface, particularly in the beginning of the book. Neither of them wants to talk about Amos's death, plus there is some tension between them due to Love's marriage to Porter, and so Love and Gypsy just talk about superficial things—like, say, Gypsy's hair. But at the end, Gypsy and Love finally talk about Amos and their grief, and in doing so, they manage to become a real family again.

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