Red at the Bone [electronic resource] / Jacqueline Woodson

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  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      Summary: Named one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2019 by LitHub and The Millions. Called one of the Top 10 Literary Fiction titles of Fall by Publishers Weekly. 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 . 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.
    • Notes:
      Adobe EPUB eBook ebook-epub-adobe 5489
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      WOODSON, J. Red at the Bone. [electronic resource]. [s. l.]: Penguin Publishing Group, 2019. ISBN 9780525535294. Disponível em: Acesso em: 5 abr. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Woodson J. Red at the Bone. [Electronic Resource]. Penguin Publishing Group; 2019. Accessed April 5, 2020.
    • APA:
      Woodson, J. (2019). Red at the Bone. [electronic resource]. Penguin Publishing Group.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Woodson, Jacqueline. 2019. Red at the Bone. [Electronic Resource]. Penguin Publishing Group.
    • Harvard:
      Woodson, J. (2019) Red at the Bone. [electronic resource]. Penguin Publishing Group. Available at: (Accessed: 5 April 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Woodson, J 2019, Red at the Bone. [electronic resource], Penguin Publishing Group, viewed 5 April 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Woodson, Jacqueline. Red at the Bone. [Electronic Resource]. Penguin Publishing Group, 2019. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Woodson, Jacqueline. Red at the Bone. [Electronic Resource]. Penguin Publishing Group, 2019.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Woodson J. Red at the Bone. [electronic resource] [Internet]. Penguin Publishing Group; 2019 [cited 2020 Apr 5]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2019 August #1

When Woodson's (Another Brooklyn, 2016) emotionally rich third adult novel opens, it's early in the new millennium and Melody is the age her mother, Iris, was when she had her, but doing something Iris never got to do: making a grand entrance at her sixteenth-birthday party in Iris' parents' Brooklyn brownstone. Melody has lived her whole life in Sabe and Po'Boy's home along with her dad, Aubrey, while Iris—whom Melody has called by her first name for as long as she can remember—pursued an independent life, first at Oberlin and then in Manhattan. Time flips forward and back as chapters alternate among the perspectives of Melody, Iris, Aubrey, Sabe, and Po'Boy, their stories interlocking and tunneling through one another for a clear and fuller picture of their family, and all that Melody's pivotal arrival brought to it. Woodson channels deeply true-feeling characters, all of whom readers will empathize with in turn. In spare, lean prose, she reveals rich histories and moments in swirling eddies, while also leaving many fateful details for readers to divine. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2019 April

Oft-crowned children's/YA author Woodson, whose recent adult novel, Another Brooklyn, was a National Book Award finalist, opens this adult title with Melody celebrating her 16th birthday at her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Melody's mother never did get her own 16th birthday party, and therein lies a tale of two families separated by class, ambition, gentrification, sexual desire, and unexpected parenthood. The publisher's top fall fiction title.

Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2019 July #3

Woodson's beautifully imagined novel (her first novel for adults since 2016's Another Brooklyn) explores the ways an unplanned pregnancy changes two families. The narrative opens in the spring of 2001, at the coming-of-age party that 16-year-old Melody's grandparents host for her at their Brooklyn brownstone. A family ritual adapted from cotillion tradition, the event ushers Melody into adulthood as an orchestra plays Prince and her "court" dances around her. Amid the festivity, Melody and her family—her unmarried parents, Iris and Aubrey, and her maternal grandparents, Sabe and Sammy "Po'Boy" Simmons, think of both past and future, delving into extended flashbacks that comprise most of the text. Sabe is proud of the education and affluence she has achieved, but she remains haunted by stories of her family's losses in the fires of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre. The discovery that her daughter, Iris, was pregnant at 15 filled her with shame, rage, and panic. After the birth of Melody, Iris, uninterested in marrying mail-room clerk Aubrey, pined for the freedom that her pregnancy curtailed. Leaving Melody to be raised by Aubrey, Sabe, and Po'Boy, she departed for Oberlin College in the early '90s and, later, to a Manhattan apartment that her daughter is invited to visit but not to see as home. Their relationship is strained as Melody dons the coming-out dress her mother would have worn if she hadn't been pregnant with Melody. Woodson's nuanced voice evokes the complexities of race, class, religion, and sexuality in fluid prose and a series of telling details. This is a wise, powerful, and compassionate novel. (Sept.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.