Red At The Bone by Jacqueline Woodson is a deep look into the past of a family and every part that has led to the moment that the book opens with. Melody is 16 and having her coming of age ceremony. As her family watches her, they all begin to reflect on how their lives have unfolded.
If this moment was a sentence, I’d be the period.
Each chapter jumps from characters in the family including: Melody’s grandparents, Sammy Po’Boy and Sabe, her parents, Aubrey and Iris, and Melody herself. Her parents had Melody when they were only 16 and faced many struggles to keep their relationship afloat. Iris eventually cannot handle the pressures of motherhood, as it was so unexpected, and she goes off to college to better her future.
Guess that’s where the tears came from, knowing that there’s so much in this great big world that you don’t have a single ounce of control over. Guess the sooner you learn that, the sooner you’ll have one less heartbreak in your life.
Eventually Melody’s mother comes back and has to face the consequences of her actions. This book goes through it all: love, self-discovery, racism, family bonds, and life choices. You begin the story with many questions, but by the end, you feel like you stepped inside the characters heads and understand it all. Every choice that was made plays out as it should, and I was left mesmerized. These characters were so well developed from the beginning of the book that I felt like I had known them all along.
Some people don’t believe that you can meet a person and know that’s the person for you for the rest of your life. I’m not going to try to argue with them on that. I know what I know.
Woodson’s writing is so unique and I’m obsessed. She writes in a poetic prose of sorts. I felt so many emotions while going along with the story. I really loved the authenticity of Red At The Bone.
She felt red at the bone—like there was something inside of her undone and bleeding.