"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Friday quotes and review: RED AT THE BONE

Title: Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Book Beginnings quote: 
But that afternoon there was an orchestra playing.
Friday56 quote:
In the photo, Melody was holding an orange balloon and grinning into the camera--her hair neatly cornrowed, her eyes dark and clear.
Summary: In the opening line we know that something has happened before this moment since it begins with "But." The music is playing for Melody's 16-year-old coming-out party. As she descends the stairs to join the party, her friends and relatives look on with love and  fond hope for her future. She is wearing the dress her mother, Iris, was going to wear for her own coming-out party sixteen years earlier but she never wore it because she became pregnant before the event. The story, told by a host of narrators, chronicles all the moments leading up to and after this moment. "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" (from the publisher). I'm guessing that the title of the book is a picturesque way of describing how ready these teens were for parenting--underdone; not ready.

Review: The lives of two families are changed forever by the decision (or lack of a decision) that two teens make to not use contraception when having sex. Iris has no thoughts about the responsibilities and commitments required of parenting, she only thinks about the pregnancy. Her parents are so embarrassed by the unplanned event that they move from their beloved community and church so as to avoid the gossip that is sure to ensue. Aubrey is in love with Iris and envisions a life together with their small family but Iris wants college and a career, not home and family. Fortunately Aubrey's mother and Iris's parents help out with the raising of young Melody. The second quote is about a time at college when a new friend sees Iris looking at a photo of her daughter and assumes it is her sister.

The book makes a lot of good points and is well written, though I was often confused as to who was the narrator but I didn't find myself connecting with any of the characters. The book provides a counterpoint to another book I just read about teen pregnancy, With the Fire on High, where the teen mother loves her daughter ferociously and still has goals and plans for her future. It is a tough topic and is handled beautifully in both books.


Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from current book.
Th
e Friday56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56 to share. 

Visit these two websites to participate. Click on links to read quotes from books other people are reading. It is a great way to make blog friends and to get suggestions for new reading material.

-Anne
 

17 comments:

  1. I'm curious for more!! I addeed you to the linky. Happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not sure this one is for me, but I did like With the Fire On High and thought it handled the teen pregnancy well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oooh, this is the author of Brown Girl Dreaming, isn't it? I've been meaning to pick that one up. This sounds like a great book, and one that I'm sure packs an emotional punch. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

    Here's my Friday post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the same author as Brown Girl Dreaming. She is a fabulous writer.

      Delete
  4. This book doesn't seem like it would be right for me, but your review is great.
    Here is my Friday meme post > https://journeyinbookland.wordpress.com/2020/02/28/bookish-memes-on-friday-february-28-2020-features-the-lost-prince-by-julie-kagawa/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw it on lots of best of 2019 lists so I thought I would try it. My biggest problem was tring to figure out who was speaking and how much time had passed.

      Delete
  5. I heard this author speak when the book was published and I plan to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Not one for me. And I get confused with too many narrators as well. I'd prefer one person telling the story. I'd love for everyone to check out blog today . . . https://lisaksbookthoughts.blogspot.com/2020/02/its-cozy-food-friday-that-means-its_28.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, especially if they don't give you any help like title the chapter with the name of the narrator.

      Delete
  7. What a striking cover! I love it. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Having too many points of view can be distancing. On the other hand, only first person can be too intense. It's a balance. I'll keep this one in mind.

    ReplyDelete
  9. A shame you had trouble connecting and didn't enjoy the book more.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Interesting quotes but probably not the book for me.

    ReplyDelete

Your turn. Please comment below.