“Lord, I reckon I’m not much just by myself,
I fail to do a lot of things I ought to do.
But Lord, when trails are steep and passes high,
Help me ride it straight the whole way through. And when in the falling dusk I get that final call,
I do not care how many flowers they send,
Above all else, the happiest trail would be,
For You to say to me, “Let’s ride, My Friend.”
Amen” The Roy Rogers’ Prayer
“One Good Mama Bone” is a beautiful story of hope, betrayal, vulnerability, wounding, personal truth, sacrifice and healing set in rural South Carolina in 1951. I became so engrossed in the novel that I stayed up until 1 a.m. on a Sunday morning to finish a book about preparing steers for a 4-H beef cattle show.
The themes of motherhood and family had me thinking about my parents and their farm childhoods in rural Kentucky. I found so many parallels between the family lore I know and this book. My uncle was, and still is, a big Roy Rodgers fan. I have seen the photos of him as a kid dressed in his cowboy finery, so it is not a leap to imagine him reciting the Roy Rogers’ prayer. Come to think of it, he still dresses like Roy Rogers when he rides. My dad and uncle lost their mother as kids in the 1950’s, so I drew a parallel to the story of Sarah and her son Emerson Bridge. My grandfather was a harsh man, so I saw him in the character Luther and my dad in LC. My mother grew up on large farm that grew corn, and soybeans and had pastures full of beef cattle.
Though there are difficult parts of this book, its overall message of healing and love is reenforced by a big, red Hereford mama cow giving us a glimpse of the divine and the allusion of salvation offered by her son.
Several times this book had me tearing up or flat out crying. My 77-year-old father and I spend many weekends trail riding on horseback. The last stanza of Roger’s prayer moved me to tears every time I read it.
By buying and reading this book I was supporting a mature woman who achieved her dream by telling her Mama Red story. This is Bren’s first published work and her next book will be published by a large publisher.
Bren and Mama Red: