Red at the Bone

Red at the Bone

Book - 2019
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"Two familes from different social classes are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. 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"--Adapted from jacket.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC, 2019.
ISBN: 9780525535270
Branch Call Number: WOODSON J
Characteristics: 196 pages ; 21 cm


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Mar 24, 2020

March 2020

JCLChrisK Mar 23, 2020

A book about life. About lives. About love and loss and success and regret and family. Captured beautifully in a slim series of meditations by one family about who they are, apart and together. It is life.

LPL_ShirleyB Mar 20, 2020

Compelling historical fiction in vivid storytelling and beautifully shared memories from three generations of an African American family. This is my first time reading Jacqueline Woodson, but now I'm compelled to revel in all her writing as soon as possible!
Thanks to Ian for this recommendation!

Mar 19, 2020

I read this book in a day and couldn’t put it down. Fantastic work well worth the read! I loved getting to know every character at different time points. The format reminded me of “Normal People” by Sally Rooney - however, “Red at the Bone” was 100% more digestible and enjoyable. I have to admit there were times when I started getting confused on who was who during dialogue, but I eventually pieced it together.

Feb 20, 2020

An amazing, beautifully written book about a multigenerational family. I loved it.

Feb 06, 2020

Found this book difficult to follow. Such an excellent premise, but I didn’t find it well written. Truthfully, it was confusing with the going back and forth in time,

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!

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.

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.

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