New York Times bestseller
Finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction
Longlisted for the 2020 Aspen Words Literary Prize
Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction
Finalist for the 2020 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary of Fiction
A 2020 Audie Award Finalist for Best Narration in Literary Fiction & Classics
A Booklist Top 10 Pick of Best Women's Fiction on Audio
Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
A Top Ten New York Public Library Best Book of the Year
An Amazon Best Book of the Month
A September 2019 LibraryReads Pick
A Parade Magazine Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2019
A Millions.com Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2019
An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes, and exposes the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us from each other, from the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.
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.
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