Red at the Bone

Red at the Bone

A Novel

eBook - 2019
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"Gorgeous, moving...A story of love—romantic and familial—and alienation, grief and triumph, disaster and survival." — Nylon "To understand the soul of a woman, we must understand the heart of the girl she once was... This poignant tale of choices and their aftermath, history and legacy, will resonate with mothers and daughters. There is pain on these pages but hope glimmers between the lines." –Tayari Jones, bestselling author of An American Marriage , in O Magazine Named a Most Anticipated Book of Fall by People, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, Parade, Vox, Time and more An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes, and exposes the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us from each other, from the New York Times -bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming . Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson's taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child. As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody's mother, for her own ceremony— a celebration that ultimately never took place. Unfurling the history of Melody's parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they've paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives—even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.
Publisher: 2019
ISBN: 9780525535294
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Chapel_Hill_KrystalB Dec 10, 2019

I am such a fan of Jacqueline Woodson. Solid stories- never under or over told, relatable and interesting characters, perfectly lyrical writing... every single time. This may be my favorite yet. Still thinking about it, wondering how Melody and Iris are doing now.

liljables Dec 09, 2019

Red at the Bone begins in 2001 and introduces us to three generations: 16-year-old Melody, who is getting ready for her coming-of-age ceremony; Melody's mother Iris and father Aubrey, who were 16 when Melody was born; and Iris and Aubrey's parents, some of whom are not present at the ceremony. Woodson's narrative moves back and forth through time so we can meet all of these family members - we're present at the moment of Melody's conception; at the moment when Iris' mother realizes her teenage daughter wants to keep her child; and at the end of several lives. These stories intertwine to deliver a beautiful, poignant portrait of a family - a surprisingly in-depth portrait, given the length of the book.

There's not much more that needs to be said about this wonderful novel - the writing is superb, the story is small in scope but wonderfully intimate, the characters are flawed and vivid. Iris and Aubrey in particular drew me in: their decisions are not predictable, and their relationship felt incredibly realistic to me. I can't wait to read more from Jacqueline Woodson!

k
kawidman
Dec 05, 2019

THIS BOOK!!!! I read one of Woodson’s other books, Another Brooklyn, last year and really enjoyed it, but this knocked my confident anticipation out of the PARK! IN A GOOD WAY! Like Another Brooklyn, this is a short book filled with poetic imagery and language. The book starts at the coming of age ceremony of 16 year old Melody, our first narrator. We then move through her parents and maternal grandparents, each one giving us a slice of the story, working backwards, forwards, and inwards through time. I could have read an entire book from any one of these characters’ perspectives but am also so glad I got to read them all next to each other, contextualizing one another like a family does. It’s a lovely, perfect book and I already want to reread it.

n
njon38
Dec 03, 2019

Commencing at Melody’s sweet 16 party, a party her mother Iris did not have because she was pregnant with Melody, the story is presented in alternate points of view of Melody, her parents Iris and Aubrey and her maternal grandparents Sabe and Po’Boy. Iris pursues a life away from the family and Melody is raised by her dad and grandparents. The prose is spare but it is poetic and wonderfully evocative.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Dec 02, 2019

Lovely multi-generational character driven story. Great on audio!

1
17Mandarin
Nov 20, 2019

this book left too much unexplained. disappointed.

k
KatG1983
Nov 15, 2019

A rich and beautifully written book, told from the perspective of different members of a family. The author allows us to understand each character's point of view, and why they made certain decisions, or what their motivations were. At just under 200 pages, Red to the Bone is the perfect length, never feeling over stuffed or bloated, but rather that every word is important and holds significance. Highly recommend!

e
EmilyEm
Nov 10, 2019

Melody, daughter of Iris and Aubrey, granddaughter of Sabe and Po’Boy, comes of age in Brooklyn.

What a writer; what a story. Woodson’s prose reads like poetry. Readers journey through a rich telling of recent African American experience seen through the eyes of one Brooklyn family. Golden.

e
Einer2
Nov 07, 2019

Wanted to love it but just didn't.

t
trickbag22
Oct 25, 2019

A thought provoking read. Are daughters doomed to follow their mothers? Is the deprh of the rejection a measure of the love?

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