Book Review: Red at the Bone

Jacqueline Woodson received the National Book Award for her memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, published in 2014. You might have missed her talents because she writes a lot of young adult material. But don’t miss this work of adult fiction. It packs a punch.

I don’t want to appear lazy, but the last paragraph of NPR’s review of her latest work says it all. I can’t believe how much Woodson transmits about growing up female and African American in just 200 pages of terse poem-like prose.

Here’s the NPR summary:

“Red at the Bone should win Woodson plenty of new fans. It reads like poetry and drama, a cry from the heart that often cuts close to the bone. The narrative nimbly jumps around in time and shifts points of view among five characters who span three generations — the unplanned child of that high school fling and her parents and grandparents — as it builds toward its moving climax. 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 — yet never feels like a checklist of Important Issues.”

Place your hold now! It’s a wonderful read.

Review by Roberta Jordan, Outreach and Instruction Librarian

Click here to request this title.

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