Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson


Beautiful subtle novel about family - the mother is lesbian.


An unexpected teenage pregnancy brings together two families from different social classes, and exposes the private hopes, disappointments and longings that can bind or divide us. 

Brooklyn, 2001. It is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody’s coming of age ceremony in her grandparents’ brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress – the very same dress that was sewn for a different wearer, Melody’s mother, for a celebration that ultimately never took place.

Unfurling the history of Melody’s family – from the 1921 Tulsa race massacre to post 9/11 New York – Red at the Bone explores sexual desire, identity, class, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, as it looks at the ways in which young people must so often make fateful decisions about their lives before they have even begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.  

From the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson...




  • ‘Sublime’ Candice Carty-Williams
  • ‘An epic in miniature’ Tayari Jones  
  • ‘A banger’ Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • ‘Generous and big-hearted’ Brit Bennett  
  • ‘A true spell of a book’ Ocean Vuong  
  • ‘A proclamation’ R.O. Kwon
  • ‘A little masterpiece’ Paula Hawkins
  • ‘I adored this book’ Elizabeth MacNeal
  • ‘Pure poetry’ Observer
  • ‘A sharply focused gem’ Sunday Times
  • ‘Will remind you why you love reading’ Stylist
  • ‘Haunting’ Guardian
  • ‘A wonderful, tragic, inspiring story’ Metro
  • ‘Prose that sings off the page… Gorgeous’ Mail on Sunday
  • ‘A nuanced portrait of shifting family relationships’ Financial Times
  • ‘As seductive as a Prince bop’ O, The Oprah Magazine
  • ‘Razor-sharp’ Vanity Fair
  • ‘Dazzling… With urgent, vital insights into questions of class, gender, race, history, queerness and sex’ New York Times  

*** ONE OF THE BOOKS OF THE YEAR FOR: New York Times; Washington Post; Time; USA Today; O, The Oprah Magazine; Elle; Good Housekeeping; Esquire; NPR; New York Public Library; Library Journal; Kirkus; BookRiot; She Reads; The Undefeated  ***

  • Details

    Imprint: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

    Publication Date: 21 January 2021

    ISBN: 9781474616454

    Format: Paperback

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