Red at the Bone
Books | Fiction / Literary
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR "A spectacular novel that only this legend can pull off." -Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, in The Atlantic "An exquisite tale of family legacy….The power and poetry of Woodson’s writing conjures up Toni Morrison." – People "In less than 200 sparsely filled pages, this book manages to encompass issues of class, education, ambition, racial prejudice, sexual desire and orientation, identity, mother-daughter relationships, parenthood and loss….With Red at the Bone, Jacqueline Woodson has indeed risen — even further into the ranks of great literature." – NPR "This poignant tale of choices and their aftermath, history and legacy, will resonate with mothers and daughters." –Tayari Jones, bestselling author of AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE, in O Magazine An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes and explores their histories – reaching back to the Tulsa race massacre of 1921 -- 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 family – reaching back to the Tulsa race massacre in 1921 -- 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.
Coming Of Age
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"I don’t think I really understood it or that it’s my cup of tea."
"Vary poetic writing I like that we get to see I everyone's perspective in the family and how it affected them in each there own way there stories are interwoven effortlessly. I thought it was amazing how much the author went into generational trauma it plays an important part in the story it's something we don't always hear and talk about often. I will say it was never boring I finished the book in 3 hours. since it's so short It might not be as memorable for me and that also may be because I've read The Mothers by Brit Bennett and both stories are kinda similar so I felt like that book left a bigger impression on me but I'm all for reading multiple books by more by poc authors and characters. books like this are so special they always unpacks such important topics that's we should all be reading more about I also find there always written is such a beautiful way. The story jumps around in the timeline along with a different perspective. It's more of a Character study then a plot driven story. The story is short but still Is full of heart Hurt and history definitely filled with such realistic emotions and characters."
"An incredibly intimate look at family ties, motherhood, and coming of age. Told in multiple perspectives and times, each character pulls you in and never lets go. I loved that this novel tackles the conflicting emotions of being a young parent, falling in and out of love, and wanting more for oneself head on, not shying away from anything. This novel inspires sadness, but is easy to relate to and appreciate. The writing style is also gorgeous. Highly recommended."
"The writing style took me a little bit to get used to, but soon I loved it. The characters and the emotions that were conveyed were incredible. It’s amazing that each chapter was written through the eyes of a different character, and even without a title, it was apparent immediately which character it was. That’s how brilliantly she was able to bring them to life. "
"Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson is a beautiful coming of age story where we see three generations of a black family come of age. We also see the bridging of social classes among a family, and the relationship of a girl and her mother fall apart and then need to be pieced back together. <br/>. <br/>. <br/>. <br/>I read this book in one sitting. It was beautiful, and wove together real historical facts with the personal history of a black family in New York. It also reflects on the tragedy in Tulsa, and the difficulties of becoming young parents. It is a beautiful book."
"I feel like this is a story many people don’t tell. The story of a woman who didn’t want to be a mother. A man stepping up to raise his daughter. In-laws bringing him into the family that their daughter wants to get away from. And to tell that story from the point of view of almost everyone involved. Jacqueline Woodson takes this multiple narrative story and creates a beautiful story. I loved how Woodson was able to create different narrative profiles based on who was telling the story. Melody was a witty and youthful teenager. Iris, a contemplative and complex lady. Aubrey, a passionate and confused gentleman. Po’Boy, a forgiving and loving father. And Sabe, a matriarch set in her traditional but caring ways. They all told the story in a way that felt true to them. There are so many underlying stories told through this story. From black wealth, individuality, self discovery, parenting to complex family relationships. It was a beautiful arrangement of words, invoking all of the emotions, and I highly recommend this story. "
"The writing was beautiful. It was amazing experience."