Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

 

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

"Woodson's latest book for adults is both spare and poetic at once. In under 200 pages, she manages to tell the story of a family's three generations—16-year-old Melody, her conflicted parents (just teenagers when melody was born), and the grandparents who overcame tremendous hardship to build a life in New York. This is a story about how people become who they are, and how certain moments, actions and decisions resonate throughout a family's whole history. I already know this is one I'll read—and re-read—again."

- Recommended by Erika

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Red at the Bone: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525535270
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - September 17th, 2019

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.