Red at the Bone
Narrated by Jacqueline Woodson, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Peter Francis James, Shayna Small & Bahni Turpin / 3 hours 52 minutes
An extraordinary new novel about the influence of history on a contemporary family, from the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.
“How did she manage to create this gorgeous family saga in less than 200 pages? Told through a chorus of five different voices, family members fill in the puzzle of their lives piece by piece and generation by generation. Told out of sequence, we learn how these lives intersected, arrived in Brooklyn, and navigated their way through the racial complexities of the 20th and 21st centuries. We experience how they face timeless issues of family, love, identity, race, and class. The poetic language along with full audio cast makes for a moving and spell-binding listen.”Cori, Bright Side Bookshop
Two families from different social classes are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. Moving forward and backward in time, with the power of poetry and the emotional richness of a narrative ten times its length, Jacqueline Woodson's extraordinary 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 this 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 soundtrack 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.
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“Jacqueline Woodson is a master storyteller.”Angela Flournoy, author of the National Book Award finalist The Turner House
“Woodson brings the reader so close to her young characters that you can smell the bubble gum on their breath and feel their lips as they brush against your ear.”Tayari Jones, New York Times-bestselling author of An American Marriage
“Jacqueline Woodson has such an original vision, such a singular voice.”Ann Patchett, New York Times-bestselling author of Commonwealth