Sunday, January 17, 2021

Red at the Bone

 I read this book by Jacqueline Woodson for my January read for our book club.  It is a fast read, I basically read it in one sitting.  I found it engaging although I did struggle with the time line hopping around as well as the narrator.  It wasn't always easy to tell who was telling the story and when in the time frame it was occurring.  I did find the  story to be an engaging one and the characters definitely intrigued me.  There were aspects of the story that lead me to look at different aspects of socio economics and cultural differences from a different perspective.  I found it interesting how Aubrey's mother viewed the government Welfare programs and her attitude toward accepting the assistance.  The other very interesting perspective was how Blacks of differing skin tones are perceived even within the Black community.   

The coming out party was and interesting cultural phenomena that I wasn't familiar with but seemed to be a tradition that Melody's somewhat old fashioned grandparents cherished.  They seemed to struggle to hold on to the past traditions and to want to keep a perception of innocence alive.  They seemed to be a bit naive in their approaches and attitudes.  I cannot help but wonder if their naivete/apparent lack of acceptance regarding sexual orientation was common in the Black community as a whole or if  it was an outcome of their traditional religious foundations.   Perhaps I am just overlaying a misconceived timeline to general acceptance of sexual preferences and believing it was later in my life than I remember it being.  Although, while reading another book recently that had a Black LGBTQ character the statement made to them was it must be hard being gay and black so maybe the acceptance is lower within the Black community or took longer to be as acceptable as I perceive it to be on average in the US.  I would hope at this point we could all just come to see each other as humans and judge us on our individual personalities and behaviors rather than lumping people into buckets and making assumptions about each other.

Overall this was an enjoyable read despite the difficulties I had following the storyline at times.  I also have decided I am not a fan of the dialogue not being placed in quotations.  It makes it difficult to ascertain whether it is actual conversation or an internal dialogue in my opinion.  These factors are why I gave the otherwise interesting and engaging story only 3 stars.   

Red at the BoneRed at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars 

Wonderful story teller

This is the first book by Jacqueline Woods I’ve read. I enjoyed it but didn’t love it. Her story is a great read about families and the different ways they interact and love each other. This book is full of glimpses of hope loss and sorrow all rolled into one. The reason I didn’t give it 4 stars is I found the story a bit disjointed at times. It was often times difficult to tell who was narrating the section I was reading at the time and also where in time we were in the story. Overall I enjoyed the book and the glimpse into perspective of the different experiences a POC has of events in history and society. I may not totally understand or agree with the depiction of historical events as Ms Woods represented them but I found the correlation to Iris’ history interesting. At the heart of it all we are all human and we experience love and loss during our lives 

View all my reviews

Challenge Prompts

The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:  

  1. Library Love  #LibraryLoveChallenge  Book #3
  2. Literary Escapes  #LiteraryEscapes    NY
  3. AtoZ   #2021AtoZReadingChallenge #AlphabetSoupChallenge  R
  4. Alphabet Soup Author Edition #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge  W
  5. Color Coded #2  Red
  6. Beat the Backlist #BTB2021  #  45  book about bones OR “bone” in the title
  7. 2021TBR  #2021ReadingChallenge # 6 can read in a day
  8. Virtual Mount TBR #VirtualMountTBR2021   Book #3
  9. Back List Reader  #Backlistreader  Book #4
  10. PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge  #8. A book that has won the Women’s Prize for Fiction
  11. Around the Year in 52 Books #5. A book by an author on USA Today's list of 100 Black Novelists You Should Read
  12. 52 Book Club  #the52bookclub2021  #3 A Dual Timeline 
  13. The Unofficial Magnus Archives Challenge  #TMARC21  #12. The Corruption: about a family
  14. BooklistQueen   # 42. Recommended by a Librarian
  15. A Pretty Mess Challenge # 1. 2020 Bestseller
  16. NJM Book Challenge  #NJMBookChallenge2021  #12 read in a single day
  17. Nerd Daily  #NERDREADING2021 #37. BIPOC AUTHOR 
  18. Bookworm  #35 by an author of a different ethnicity than you 
  19. Magic in the Books Book 4 #3 Includes a rebel character
  20. Spells and Spaceships  Standalone Badge:  standalone story
  21. Pick your Poison #51 Crossing Boundaries 3- A book about reconciliation
  22. Bloggers Bookshelf   #bloggersbookshelf #3 LGBTQ protagonist 
  23. Diversify your reading #DYRC21  January: Literary Fiction
  24. 52 books in 52 weeks   Row 2-7 skin diving
  25. Unruly Reader Bingo  #  Uncoventional

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