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Book Club: Red at the Bone

red at the bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Today’s our second meeting of the Cup of Jo book club! We read Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson. Here’s a Q&A with the author, and then let’s chat about the book in the comments! Here goes…

How did you decide on the title “Red at the Bone”?
I was writing the book for many years and wasn’t 100% sure what the story was trying to say. I knew I wanted to talk about intergenerational love, the Tulsa race massacre, the class divide… but it wasn’t until i got to the point with Iris and Jam that I knew I was trying to talk about the rawness we all have through some shape or form, whether it’s through love, history, a child breaking your heart.

Often when a teenager has a baby in a book or movie, she drops out of school and ends up raising the child. But, in your novel, Iris had an atypical path — she stays in high school and then leaves her baby to go to college. She says, “I was only 15. I wasn’t even anybody yet.” Why was this narrative important to you?
As a person who often writes for young people, I know that however devastating the story is, there has to be hope and growth and something that makes you want to keep on going. With Red at the Bone, I knew that Iris would get pregnant but I didn’t want it to be the stereotypical stigmatized teenage pregnancy. That other story is easy to tell but a more complicated story about what family means is more challenging to write.

You seemed to have so much empathy for her, too.
The idea of a mother leaving her child is ‘unheard of’ — a mother can’t leave! how dare a mother leave a child? — but I wanted to make a different story about that. To me, it makes perfect sense that she wants to keep her baby at 15, but at 18 she changes her mind and say I want to go to college. Iris never thought the two had to be separate.

Meanwhile, Aubrey stays home and is an incredibly devoted father.
I just love Aubrey so much! From the minute I started developing him as a character, I knew he would be this loving guy. He came from a place where he didn’t have much, but he had love. He knew how to be devoted. He’s this really smart kid who chooses to go into the job world after high school and remain with his daughter. It’s the counternarrative to the black father who abandons the child. There are many fathers who are amazing fathers — single fathers, queer fathers, straight fathers — who do this and do it really well. For him, it wasn’t even a question to go away to school; he wanted to provide for his family and to him that was a gift to be able to do so.

Who did you relate to most in the book?
Both Iris and Aubrey — they’re two halves of a whole for me. Iris is this fire who may be satisfied one day and maybe won’t, and that’s like me as a writer, chipping away at it.

With Aubrey, he has this kindness and this deep optimism about the world, and I feel like I have that deep optimism. It’s going to be okay, we just need to keep it simple and keep moving forward no matter what.

Why did you choose to write about the Tulsa riots?
I was thinking about black wealth and the many ways it constantly gets destroyed or taken away from us — the Chicago riots, redlining, police brutality, mass incarceration, the school to prison pipeline, predatory lending — and the Tulsa race massacre was such an obvious warfare on black wealth that so few people knew about. I didn’t know about it until I was in my 20s. You take this concentrated area of black wealth and you literally bomb it out of existence. And what becomes of those people who have that trauma and history?

I read the book on a kindle, and many beautiful phrases were underlined. I’m curious, what line did you like most in the book?
One of my favorite lines is: “If a body’s to be remembered, someone has to tell its story.”

Where do you write?
Now that we’re sheltering in place, I move around a lot at home and try to find a place that feels good. I need six hours of undisturbed writing time to get into the story, so I have to find a spot where someone isn’t like, ‘Mommy, Mommy!’ I need to live there for a while. when you write, you go into that world and as John Gardner says, if the dream of fiction gets broken, it’s hard to get back in.

Do you listen to music while writing?
Yes, the first thing I do is put my headphones on. I have a playlist with songs like September by Earth, Wind and Fire, Fields of Gold by Sting, Breaths by Sweet Honey in the Rock, Sunflower the Spiderman theme, Harvest Moon by Neil Young — it’s a mellow playlist.

What are a few of your favorite books?
I really love On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. That’s such a beautiful book. I love The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Anything that Ann Patchett writes I will read. What is on my nightstand? I’m going upstairs to check… I just started reading Little Family by Ishmael Beah, I love his writing. Also, I have books I’ll read again and again: If Beale Street Could Talk, The Member of the Wedding, The Cancer Journals, Ghosts in the Schoolyard… I’ll go back to read them when I’m stuck as a writer and I’ll figure out how to get unstuck.

Thank you so much, Jacqueline! Let’s discuss the book in the comments below… Also! In the next book club, would you like to do it on Instagram Live? And any suggestions for the next book?

P.S. A cookbook club, and my three favorite books.

  1. Ismah says...

    When is the next book club meeting taking place? I am very much looking forward to it as I loved both books you picked so far…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it’s coming up shortly! we’ll do an announcement. thank you, ismah! xo

  2. OM says...

    I loved this book. It was beautifully written. Aubrey’s love and vulnerability shone through. It was good to learn about the Tulsa race massacre. Thank you for recommending this book.

    An IG Live format would be great – it could add to the energy of the discussion.

  3. ks says...

    i am late to finish this but didn’t jump into this post until i read the book. i started & finished it this weekend – do you ever feel that books are lyrical? I couldn’t put this down – her words carried me through an afternoon of unraveling a family; their burdens, their hopes, their joys – and then leaving you wanting just a little bit more but knowing that, like all our stories – this one is yet to be finished. thank you for recommending this book – I loved it.

  4. Gargi Kulkarni says...

    I just finished the book. I liked “the family” in the book. Imperfect, yet perfect. Every member was supported through out the story. They let Iris choose to have the baby. They let her leave the baby. They let Aubrey into the family. Aubrey’s mom accepted Iris and took it upon herself to educate her. I also like how your history, however painful, shaped and molds you as a person. They all carried suffering and pain, yet were so gentle, kind, giving and assertive. I felt for every character and as a part of that family.

  5. Lindsay says...

    I haven’t had a chance to read this book yet but it’s on my list and I’m even more excited to read it! Her book Brown Girl Dreaming is amazing.

  6. Ashley P. says...

    Still crying. This book was so beautiful and such a fast read! I found myself rereading sections because I wanted to know what would happen, but then the writing was so lovely. Yes to IG stories!

  7. K says...

    Loved this book. Instagram live for the next would be awesome.

  8. Ceridwen says...

    I loved this book and so grateful to be introduced to the author through Cup of Jo. I also loved how poetic it was and the strength, complexity and honesty of the characters and their relationships. I didn’t know about the Tulsa race massacre before reading the book.

  9. lyly says...

    I loved the counter narratives in this story from what we typically hear. The Oberlin grad, the rick black Brooklyn folks, Aubrey. And the gentle introduction to the Tulsa race massacres was brilliant. I read it on audible and the different voices were so perfect. I was praying Iris would end up with Jam and Aubrey would love forever.

  10. Lindsey says...

    This book blew me away. So poetic. The chapter on 9/11 had me sobbing. It ended right when I was really getting to know the characters, which had me wondering if the author meant it to end like that…kind of like life? Beautiful, tragic, fleeting.

  11. Emily L says...

    Oh, another suggestion:

    “Talking to Strangers” by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell is brilliant and breaks down social problems and offers great insight.

  12. Emily L says...

    Next book suggestion:

    “My Dark Vanessa” by Kate Elizabeth Russell. I read it after seeing a few COJ commenters recommend it, and after devouring it this weekend, I agree. It’s thought provoking and important.

  13. M says...

    I love you, Jacqueline Woodson!!! When I was teaching middle school English in Bushwick, one of my favorite sights was one of my kiddos curled up with a JW book, set in their neighborhood on the streets that they lived on. It was MAGIC.

  14. Meredith says...

    Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful author through this beautiful book. It really left an impression. My favourite line: “Some evenings I don’t know where the old pains end and the new ones begin. Feels like the older you get the more they run into one long deep aching..”

  15. Debbie Glosson says...

    I think the underlying story was good but I thought it had no REAL story or climax. Our book club did not like it and thought it needed way more developing to the story. I liked the different perspectives.

    • Julee says...

      I felt like the book left so many stories untold- or that it ended too abruptly.

    • Laura says...

      Agree.

  16. Kenzie Randall says...

    For the next book club pick I’d recommend Know My Name by Chanel Miller. Such a raw, important, & beautifully written memoir!!

    • Kate says...

      I second this. This book is amazing!

    • CMW says...

      Yes!! This memoir is so important.

  17. J Kuhl says...

    Beautiful story! Chapter 8 was my favorite; such poetry.

  18. Eleanor Porter-Nelson says...

    I loved this book. It was so beautifully written. I loved how it had a rhythm and a fogginess where I didn’t quite know where I was but it made sense. It felt in between reading a novel and reading poetry.

    • Ismah says...

      I feel exactly the same way! Loved the book

  19. M says...

    Also 9/11! I just thought everything about the book was perfect.

  20. Sarah B says...

    This was a beautiful book. I loved the love the characters had for one another.
    For the next one, I am reading — at a brilliant friend’s emphatic suggestion — Circe.

    • Maddy says...

      Circe is a FANTASTIC book. It’s narrative, it’s poetry, it’s magic. I read it a few months ago and can’t stop thinking about it.

  21. Kathe says...

    Typo alert: it’s Sweet Honey in the Rock, not Sweet Honey and the Rocks!!

  22. Holly says...

    I also love the Darling Nikki/Prince reference!

  23. Nancy E says...

    This book was written in such a poetic manner! Really interesting writing! And it really ran the gamut of characters and personalities. Enjoyed all of them!

    • Laura says...

      I savored each word. The writing was sumptuous but concise. I d reread pages like I was going back for dessert. Absolutely beautiful.

  24. Janae says...

    I would love an Instagram live! That would allow for us to post our own questions for y’all and the author too!

  25. Amy says...

    I greatly enjoyed the book overall, but — SPOILERS BE HERE — for a book that seemed so firmly centered in the black female experience, the weight of the plot ultimately landed on Aubrey. His character was already my favorite, because of his quiet, bedrock decency and dedication to his daughter, the kind of heroism that too often gets short shrift. But when his death wound up being the single most significant moment of the book’s end, it felt like the female characters had to take their final bows in the background. (It also made me weep.) Did anyone else feel this way? I greatly enjoyed the book overall.

  26. Holly says...

    I enjoyed the book and the interweaving of all the characters lives. My favorite character was Aubrey. I am excited to dive into the next book!

  27. Agnès says...

    I didn’t read the book, but I love being here and reading the comments! Thanks for opening that space.

  28. Kate says...

    I kept wondering how the story would differ/not differ if Iris had access to a good counselor throughout her high school and then college career. Would she still have chosen Oberlin or instead a school in New York? Been in a better position after college to interact with her family? How might the family dynamics changed with a good family counselor?

    The story was one of history shaping the future and molding pathways – some good, some baf. Melody’s future seems dark based on the un/under processing of the past.

  29. mb says...

    I read the book and I liked it okay (I felt that I didn’t really ‘understand’ some characters, specifically Sabe and Melody). It was a stark contrast to other characters that felt really fleshed out. In any case, I also wondered about Jam. I was confused by her because she introduces herself as 1st generation college student but then her parents turned out to be professors? Did I misread that?

    I also wanted to know more about Iris’s interior life after college. I imagine that’s possibly something a lot of people like about this book–it leaves a lot open for the reader to analyze and imagine. But to me, there was something that felt sad about her leaving college where she has grown to know herself better and then the reader is not able to gain a better sense of how she had matured and grown independently.

    • Amy says...

      I also would’ve liked more on the direction of Iris’ emotional life, and direction overall, post-college. It felt like there was more to plumb there.

  30. jan says...

    I’m not on IG because they exploit privacy along with partnership with FB so I will miss you all if you go there – but I understand it would be a good business decision as well as very fun. . .

    I wish tech platforms begin to allow opt-outs and protections for those who care about those things because I would *love* to play along but not at the expense of personal autonomy and democratic participation.

    • Yelena says...

      Jan, if you’re a California resident there’s a new privacy law here that mandates an opt-out option for users to keep their personal data from being used or shared

    • S says...

      yes!!!

    • Julee says...

      Same! I stay off IG so I’d miss you all.

  31. celeste says...

    Wow! I didn’t read the book but I am inspired to, and enjoyed many of her recommendations.

  32. Alison says...

    I listened to the audiobook of this – and while I usually can’t stand audiobooks, the different voices/characters in this really stood out to me. It was SO good and I loved the way these stories interwove with one another with history.

    • Lisa says...

      Came to say the same thing. The audio version of this was fantastic.

    • Kelsey says...

      I agree! I loved the style of the book and felt it was highlighted through good voices. I found Iris to be a very difficult character for me to relate. Reading fiction always challenges me to try to see different perspectives and adding the author’s perspective takes that a step further. I was hoping for a more redemptive moment.

  33. Melissa says...

    I loved the book! I have to admit though while I have read some books by African American writers (An American Marriage and Sing, Unburied, Sing are two of the most recent), there are things about this community that I don’t understand. In this book, for example, the sorority system–does this operate the same way the college sororities operate? The presentation of the young girls–this is her debut, right? Is she also joining the sorority? Also, when they call out “The ancestors are in the house, say what?”–what is the connection to ancestors? (I also get that different communities don’t have to explain themselves or “teach” me.) I loved Aubrey and was so sad when he died, but I loved Po’Boy and Sabe as well. Their relationship was so lovely. It was always hinted at that Aubrey wasn’t Iris’s first and I thought it was interesting that she had lost her virginity at 13. She had a great family life! Why did she feel that she needed that? I wish that she could have the love that her parents had. While I was reading Red at the Bone, I pictured Sabe and Po’Boy as the Huxtable grandparents. I didn’t picture Iris as Denise, but I could see that. Also, why didn’t Iris and Melody move / stay in Sabe’s house? Sabe had gold bricks in the steps! Wasn’t the house paid off? I was so relieved that Iris and Melody found the bricks, but I was surprised that Sabe hadn’t clearly told them that they were there. Lovely book and gave me a lot to think about, especially about the passing of time and love and loss.

    • Lynn says...

      It was always hinted at that Aubrey wasn’t Iris’s first and I thought it was interesting that she had lost her virginity at 13. She had a great family life! Why did she feel that she needed that?

      I’m not sure having a great family life has anything to do with losing your virginity at any age. You can have a great family life and be abused outside your home, or you can be sexually maturing and exploring your sexual identity. The author leave a lot unsaid and it allows reader imagination to explore but I wouldnt go making assumptions about the characters or people in general.

      I knew plenty of people from ‘good families’ if your narrowly define that as two parent , dual income Church going household that had kids getting in trouble with the law, getting pregnant at an early age etc. People who live in glass houses like to throw rocks despite better advisement.

    • mb says...

      There’s a scene when Melody is a little girl and she is tapping everything to make music–she notes that the step sounds different than all the others and it is hinted that her grandmother told her why. Same thing with Iris, it’s hinted that she knew about it but thought it was a weird thing of her parents (she doesn’t seem to grasp the inherited trauma of the Tulsa riots at least until later).

  34. Allie says...

    Thank you for choosing this amazing book for your book club and for including the author interview! I really felt like Iris represented a lot of difficult decisions that mothers make. We’re constantly thinking about what to sacrifice (because of course no-one can have it all, so something has to give). Sometimes, we have to lean in personally or professionally and lean out from motherhood. And that can be ok. Especially if you think of the “village” of people that contribute to raising a child and making sure that as a mother you are giving space to all the wonderful people in your life to help raise your child.

  35. Julie says...

    Next book club suggestions: Conjure Women by Afia Atakora, Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, Real Life by Brandon Taylor.

  36. Kate says...

    I hadn’t heard of it, and want to read more about it now!

  37. Joanna Goddard says...

    had you heard of the Tulsa race massacre? woodson wanted to tell that story to help more people learn about it and keep it front of mind.

    • amy says...

      I hadn’t heard of them and I felt embarrassed by that! why isn’t it taught more in schools?

    • Samantha says...

      i recently listened to a podcast about it, but before then had never heard about it. it feels wrong that it isn’t taught more widely in schools- it’s an important part of American history, whether or not we like it. this event shouldn’t be forgotten in the history books.

    • Rachel says...

      Such an important piece of history known by so few. Loved that it was used in this book. Also, it was a huge component of The Watchmen, which came out last year.

    • Kelsey says...

      I have lived in Tulsa since I started college here in 2011, and I didn’t hear about the Tulsa race massacre until 2015 or 2016. I am a schoolteacher, and I was studying Holocaust literature with my seventh grade students. I learned about the massacre for the first time at the Jewish Museum in Tulsa when I took my students on a field trip for our Holocaust unit. The similarities between the two events were alarming.

      I’ve experienced that high school Oklahoma history teachers are making a concerted effort to add this to the curriculum. It’s interesting, especially as a white Tulsan, to see what efforts are being attempted to engage with this on a historic and present-day level. Greenwood is growing in Tulsa, and I try to make a point to frequent/support those businesses. I am also hoping to get involved with the hundred-year anniversary remembrance project.

      I greatly appreciate Woodson taking the time and space to include this piece of history. I believe it is tragically easy for white America to disengage with issues of race when they are not confronted with it in school, media, life, etc.

      It was also really intriguing (and painful) to see the show Watchmen on HBO; the race massacre serves as a major part of the plot of the first season.

    • Erin says...

      There’s a beautiful, harrowing novel about the Tulsa race riots called Fire In Beulah, by Rilla Askew. Highly recommend!

    • Sarah says...

      I have two degrees in History (B.A. and M.A.) and I had not heard of the Tulsa race massacre until I was preparing to teach a course on U. S. History from 1877-Present. I definitely feel that it is grossly underrepresented. I’m excited to read this book.

      Jo, I started reading “Writers and Lovers” based on your recommendation. I’m exhausted today because I couldn’t put it down last night. : ) That may be another great option for a future book club.

      Thank you for featuring fabulous authors and important topics.

    • M. says...

      For more on Tulsa, I highly highly recommend watching the HBO series The Watchmen. It is amazing. And I loved this book so much. I think it’s so important to have portrayals of different kinds of motherhood because dang it’s really hard

    • Brittany says...

      What Amy said ^

    • Sanaa Rahman says...

      I had never heard of the Tulsa Massacre and was horrified by this. In reading up on it I couldn’t believe that it happened on memorial day weekend, so this would have been its 99th anniversary. I am a (relatively) new immigrant to this country and feel like there are so many layers and stories lost or buried that we never hear about (intentionally). Such actions only add to the trauma people there experienced and passed down through the generations. Thank you Jaqueline Woodson for educating us and for Joanna using her platform to promote it.

  38. Joanna Goddard says...

    How did Aubrey and Iris’s class differences show up in the book?

    • Doris says...

      Magarine versus butter!

    • Kara says...

      This doesn’t quite answer this question but it’s related Aubrey’s class so this is probably the best place for this comment: My favorite chapter in this book was when Aubrey takes Melody to his old neighborhood and they’re talking to the OG about the guy Aubrey knew who died (I already returned the book to the library and it’s killing me that I can’t remember that character’s name!). The descriptions of Aubrey’s memory of seeing him when they were both teens painted a vivid picture in my mind. You could feel Aubrey’s longing and see how easily and understandably Aubrey could have taken that path

    • mb says...

      I think the social class difference is in stark contrast with the parenting differences. It would seem that Iris’s upbringing is more proper since she has a lot of things come easy to her. But it seemed as if her parents were always working and concentrating on putting Iris in a “social class atmosphere” that would lead her to good choices. That is, she was in a permissive environment because it seemed they hoped that she’d pick up the right influences with the privilege she inherited.

      Meanwhile, Aubrey’s mother was way more present. Even if she herself lived a difficult life (from what I remember, even having to prostitute herself from time to time), her relationship with her son was a cornerstone of his upbringing. She has more malice and can identify Iris and Aubrey’s relationship and the risky behavior they’re engaging. But precisely because she is present and watchful she shapes and influences him to a greater degree than Iris’s parents on their daughter.

  39. Joanna Goddard says...

    What did you think of Iris’s decision to move away from her family and baby?

    • Robin says...

      This is so hard and for BIPOC folks, I think it’s all the more tricky. We carry the legacies and traumas of our pasts, present, and futures. I appreciate how human the characters are in asking the fundamental questions: Who are we? Where did we come from? And how do we move forward? But looking back can be the scariest, most difficult thing. Perhaps Iris might be somewhere in between.

    • Kelsey says...

      I think it’s incredibly representative of a scenario that must go through many mother’s minds. “What would happen if I were solely responsible for myself? What could I do? Where could I go? What could I accomplish?”

    • Lynn says...

      I really admired her decision to do this. I was always frustrated at the normalisation that men leave families (many easily, others not so much). Yes, mother/child bonding is more unique than father/child bonding given the others carry children but I think everyone is different and we need more stories of women like Iris. There’s the double standard and the shame we as readers want to inflict onto Iris for doing so but I personally didnt and I liked that the author pushed us to consider in some small part – why we don’t similarly judge fathers by the same standard. We should expect more of fathers, and maybe less of mothers.

    • Heather says...

      I thought this was one of the most fascinating aspects of the book because it was hard to understand. But it was a good reminder that every person’s journey is different. And I felt that Iris’s separation from her daughter highlighted Aubrey’s strength as a father and the importance of inter-generational love, as Woodson said above, because he and the grandparents had to fill in that gap.

    • M says...

      Totally relatable. And I am grateful for Woodson for portraying that complicated situation.

    • K says...

      It scared me how much I understood it. I think I would feel the same in her position, and one of my many fears with having kids is that I will have strong desires and interests that I can’t pursue as mom, and that I will want to leave like Iris did. As a young mom, I think we all feel sympathy for Iris, but I’m sure people would feel differently with an older woman who “had more time to live.” Kids aren’t a hairstyle you can try out.

  40. Joanna Goddard says...

    Which character did you relate to most?

    • Audrey says...

      I really found myself relating to both Iris and Melody. As a mother, I could relate to Iris’ desire to be more than a mother and for it not to be what fills her up. And I related to Melody’s resentment (or maybe indifference?) to the relationship she has to her mother. I feel that most women have a complicated relationship with their mothers, even if it’s not strained overall. It was beautifully written.

    • Julie says...

      I find this question interesting because I don’t necessarily read books so I can relate to the characters. I enjoyed different pieces of all the characters. And mostly enjoyed seeing the world from their perspectives.

    • Heather says...

      I agree with Julie! I don’t think I have an answer in mind to this question.

  41. Joanna Goddard says...

    Did you like the book? Why or why not? I’m so curious to hear!

    • amy says...

      yes I loved the book.. the writing was lyrical. and I fell in love with Aubrey’s mom who seemed like such a cool person.

    • Anne St.Jean says...

      I loved it, and I wasn’t expecting to. Rarely can you find a sub-300 page novel that makes you fall in love with each and every character so deeply. I really felt connected to everyone, and it made me feel so nostalgic for pasts I wasn’t even alive for.

      As a white woman, I have a strong desire to understand the lives of people who have such a different life experience from the privilege and ease I grew up with. This book and “There There” by Tommy Orange both give people a chance to expand their worldview and empathy for the lives of others. And that’s my favorite gift that literature can give us.

    • McNeill says...

      I was blown away by how much story & meaning was communicated in such a short book, structured in the way it was. The plot and characters would have been perfectly interesting in a longer, more filled out format, but I found it to be incredibly impactful with every bit of excess stripped away. It’s one I’ll definitely re-read. Really, really loved it.

    • Kate says...

      I loved it! The language was so beautiful, I had a hard time putting it down. I was surprised that I connected to the characters so quickly. I would definitely recommend this book!

    • Kara says...

      Yes! I wanted to know more about each character, like I wanted to read more about the histories of each member of the family stretched back into the past and the futures of Iris and Melody. You know a book is good when you want to stay in the world for a long while.

    • Nicole says...

      I loved this book so much – so glad you chose it for book club! The writing is poetic…I could see this entire story being staged as a play. I loved that it was original; truly counternarratives for most of the characters. I also loved the exploration of love, not only intergenerational but between friends and same-sex relationships – e.g., Malcolm and Melody, Iris and Jam. I would love to see more about Melody – I wanted to know how her life unfolded and also what became of Malcolm. Thank you, Jacqueline, for creating these beautiful characters that lodged themselves into hearts and minds.

      I’m now reading “Writers and Lovers” (thanks CoJ!) – suggestions for the next book club = “All Adults Here” or “Uncanny Valley.”

      And yes to IG live! I’d love it so much! Or a Zoom or Teams call…

    • Doris says...

      Beautifully written. Initially I wasn’t very into it mostly because I made assumptions about the plot. Then something happens where the words beautifully weave their way into your heart. I honestly am still thinking about the story and ultimately the love of this family.

    • Heather says...

      Yes! Thank you for picking this book! Despite it’s length, it had so much history baked into the characters and their relationships. And as a white woman, I don’t feel I’ve read as many works of Black authors as I’d like to, so I appreciated you selecting this book. It was good to read and relate to a story of a family that is different from mine , and to learn about a historical context (the Tulsa race massacre) that I’m sorry to say was indeed new to me.

    • Victoria says...

      Yes, it was a treasure of a story – with much still to uncover – and beautifully told.