Every Bone a Prayer
"Bears within its pages striking beauty and strangeness in equal measure ... a book like Every Bone A Prayer exists in the space between author and reader so viscerally that you can almost hear crawdad shells crunch, wood splinter, and bones groan. And its heart? That is threaded carefully through its pages. It reveals itself slowly, within the book's many layers." -- NPR
"This is the kind of book we need to set literary expectations for a new decade. It's so textured, so layered with love and so wonderfully terrifying, intimate and magical."--Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy: An American Memoir
Misty's holler looks like any of the thousands of hollers that fork through the Appalachian Mountains. But Misty knows her home is different. She may be only ten, but she hears things. Even the crawdads in the creek have something to say, if you listen.
All that Misty's sister Penny wants to talk about are the strange objects that start appearing outside their trailer. The grown-ups mutter about sins and punishment, but that doesn't scare Misty. Not like the hurtful thing that's been happening to her, the hurtful thing that is becoming part of her. Ever since her neighbor William cornered her in the barn, she must figure out how to get back to the Misty she was before -- the Misty who wasn't afraid to listen.
This is the story of one tough-as-nails girl whose choices are few but whose fight is boundless, as her coping becomes a battle cry for everyone around her. Written by a survivor of sexual abuse, Every Bone a Prayer is a beautifully honest exploration of healing and of hope.
Praise for Every Bone a Prayer:
Haunting and healing, Every Bone A Prayer is a powerful debut that will leave its mark on readers' hearts.-- Kim Michele Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
"Ashley Blooms sings in an authentic mountain voice...Like a hawk over a hollow, Blooms both soars and sees all."--Andy Duncan, author of An Agent of Utopia
Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781728216218, 352pp.
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. Misty’s idea of inner names includes memories and sounds, things remembered and lost. What does that mean to you? Can you think of anything that would be a part of your name?
2. Compare Misty’s and William’s home lives. How are they each coping with the challenges of their families? Do they understand each other?
3. Misty thinks her family only notices her when she’s sad or hurt. Have you ever felt like that? What did you do?
4. Why do you think Misty decides to tell her mother about Penny kissing the green glass man? Was there another choice she could have made?
5. Do you think that corporal punishment is ever justified for children? Besides the physical pain, what does Misty notice and remember about being whipped with the switch?
6. How does the environment interact with Misty’s emotions? Would that relationship still exist without her empathy? How might it be different?
7. Throughout the book, Misty and Penny reach out to each other but always seem to miss. What prevents them from supporting or helping one another?
8. Misty encounters several dangers when she takes off her skin. What are they, and how does she eventually overcome them?
9. Caroline explains that she thought she could punish Earl and move on, but she might only get one of those things. What kind of justice do you think she gets in the end? Is it what she deserved?