Book Review: Red at the Bone

I took the long Thanksgiving weekend to indulge myself with Jacqueline Woodson’s Red at the Bone. It was delicious. Woodson walks readers through the lives of three generations of a family. Each chapter let’s you in on the perspective of another one of the family’s 5 members. She analyzes how life’s turning points, (the births, deaths, and coming of age moments that define us), force individuals and relationships to evolve.

She effortlessly addresses classism, racism, teen pregnancy, and homosexuality. While most novelist consider taking on one of these hot button issues a victory, Woodson manages to juggle them all at once with ease. Her words will break your heart but not before filling you with nostalgia.

Her characters are dynamic. With the turn of a page I went from loathing Iris, to sympathizing with her. We peak into the soul of Aubrey, possibly the most altruistic character, and find the flaws that humanize him. You’ll want to dance to late 90’s classics with her characters. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll wish it didn’t have to end so soon. Red at the Bone, a must read.

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