Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson – A book review

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson – A book review

It has been a hot minute since I read Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson during our staycation last month. But I have been avoiding to pen down my review/thoughts for a while because I was not sure if I could ever do it some justice. Finally I braved to get on with it and here is my review of Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson!

Have you read Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson? What other hyped books that have lived up to your expectations in the recent past? And which ones dropped the balls? Let us talk. Share on X

About the book

Red at the bone

Book Name: Red at the Bone

Author: Jacqueline Woodson

Genre: Fiction – Drama, Young Adult

Characters: Iris, Aubrey, Melody, Sabe, Po’Boy

Setting: Brooklyn, New JerseyThe USA

Plot Summary

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson begins with the sixteen year old Melody getting ready for her coming out party and fighting with her mother on the song that she chose.

Seeing her walk down the stairs in a dress her mother missed out on wearing stirs up emotions and memories for the whole family, which the reader gets to know from the number of alternating point of views.

Melody grew up largely as a motherless child with a doting father and supportive maternal grandparents. Her relationship with her mother Iris was turbulent at best.

Book review

Red at the Bone is an intergenerational family drama, that involves several intense themes like teenage pregnancy, motherhood, fatherhood, grief, ambition, classism, sexism, poverty and racism.

It walks us through the aftermaths of an unexpected teenage pregnancy in an African American family and the costs of the choices that each one of them makes.

And Woodson does a phenomenal job in keeping the readers on toes with her lyrical writing and acute observation of complex human emotions. Alternating between a number of point of views might seem overwhelming for a few but it worked so brilliantly for me.

I knew Red at the Bone had raving reviews but I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming emotions that swept me off as I began connecting to each character and the choices they make. And the fact that I could feel all these in just 200 pages is just mind blowing.

Initially I was not sure why Melody was so cold to Iris and later, about how Iris could treat Aubrey the way she did. But just within a chapter or two, I found myself thinking “maybe, that’s what I would have done too”. And that is a win for the writer on my books.

Red at the Bone is a powerful book that talks about the invisible threads of misery, secrets and anger that holds the family together.

What worked for me

  • To just say I loved the author’s writing style and her powerful words would be unjust. She is phenomenal.
  • Each and every character is etched to perfection. Sabe and Po’Boy’ were my favorites.

What may have been better

  • If you are not a fan of multiple POVs, watch out. Red at the Bone has five POVs (though very well done).
  • This is definitely not a plot intensive drama.

Bottom line

While this poignant story may not be entirely new or memorable, it is the impact of the lyrical writing and the emotions that the author packed into her words that makes Red at the Bone so powerful and popular.

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson is worth all the hype it gets and pick up this short book if you are into literary fiction.

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Have you read Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson? What other hyped books that have lived up to your expectations in the recent past? And which ones dropped the balls? Let us talk.

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson – A book review

Younger by Pamela Redmond Satran: Book review

Never ask a lady about her age, goes the adage. So what is it between a woman and her age? Why can’t they just get over it and go on living their lives? Isn’t age just a number? ‘It isn’t!’ says Alice. Go ahead read her life’s story in Younger by Pamela Redmond Satran.

Have you read Younger by Pamela Redmond Satran? What about the TV series adaptation of Younger, have you watched it? Let us talk. Share on X

About Younger

Younger by Pamela Redmond Satran book review

Book Name: Younger

Author: Pamela Redmond Satran

Genre: Fiction – Drama

Setting: Brooklyn, New JerseyThe USA

Plot Summary of Younger

Alice, a recently divorced mother of a 20 something Diana, is looking to restart her career and her life – except that she is 44 years old and job market isn’t looking for someone of that age group. She starts her New Year in a dull note with her friend Maggie, who stumbles on a brilliant plan – passing Alice as a younger woman. With a few wardrobe changes and hair coloring – voila, Alice seemingly becomes a new younger persona.

A new life awaited her – job at marketing in a publishing house, a new boyfriend (a much younger and fun game developer) Josh, new friend (Lindsay at the publishing house) and a new place to live (Maggie’s apartment). With her daughter who took Alice for granted, moving to Africa, she goes deep diving into her new life. She reports to Terri, a single mother of three and a tough boss, who despises stay at home moms. Lindsay assumes Alice to be of her age, late twenties, helps her to handle Teri as well as keep her afloat socially.

Do her secrets get outted? How does her daughter take her mom to dating younger guy and much worse pretending to be as young as her? What happens to her relationship with Josh? Reader Younger by Pamela Redmond Satran to know more.

Book review of Younger

I picked the book after watching the season 1 of the TV show of the same name. I kept visualizing the actors while I read it. Though there are few minor differences between the show and the book, I somehow liked the show better.

The novel goes to view the issues related to ageism and sexism apparently. It is a light read and definitely dated, but not your normal chicklit.

But I felt the characters were not developed to their fullest and that is where I liked the show better. I should accept I did not put the book down till I finished it (thankfully it was mere 300 odd pages), though more for waiting it to end than for the story.

Bottom line

You should definitely pick Younger by Pamela Redmond Satran up if you are looking for an easy read for your book club. Perfect for a beach read on breezy summer days.

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Have you read Younger by Pamela Redmond Satran? What about the TV series adaptation of Younger, have you watched it? What other less known book to screen adaptation you enjoyed? Let us talk.