Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Every Bone a Prayer by Ashley Blooms

TITLE: Every Bone a Prayer
AUTHOR: Ashley Blooms
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Landmark
PUBLISH DATE: August 4, 2020
GENRE: Magical Realism, Adult Fiction
PAGES: 368

The Lovely Bones meets Where the Crawdads Sing in this remarkable debut set in Appalachia

In her rural Appalachian holler, ten-year-old Misty's closest friends are the crawdads. Misty can speak to them, to the birds, to the creek, to everything outside, and she understands how they think. She knows that if she could just speak to her parents in the same way, she could stop all the fighting. But it's too hard.

Strange things start to happen in the holler. When her friend William takes their friendship too far, Misty's need to connect is greater than ever, but it's hard to talk about what you don't understand. This is the story of one tough-as-nails girl whose choices are few but whose imagination is boundless, as her coping becomes a battle cry for everyone around her -- a beautifully honest exploration of healing and hope.

Every Bone a Prayer by Ashley Blooms
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“She learned that everything had a name. Not the name that most people knew them by, but something different, an underneath name made of sounds and memories and feelings, a name that shifted and grew and evolved.”

Lyrical and mystical, Every Bone a Prayer is a brutal and honest look at 10-year-old Misty’s struggle against a soul-crushing trauma in the rural Appalachian holler where she lives with her mother and older sister. This book is unlike any book I’ve ever read; it is a disturbing story but the author has steeped it with magical realism and old mountain folklore that is written so eloquently that every sentence resonated with me on a deeply emotional level. Misty is a character that I won’t soon forget, wise beyond her years, she is both wounded and strong and forever embedded in my heart.

“She’ll wish for those years of forgetting, wish for a time when she didn’t remember her body like this. But the memories will keep surfacing in dreams and in shudders.”

While the story has heartache within its pages, I also found an equal amount of joy. Ms. Blooms seemed able to capture me at every moment, whispering to my soul like Misty’s crawdads in the creek or the tree’s that told stories in their deep gentle voices. This is not an easy story to read, there is abuse and violence but there is also love and light to be found, too.

Thank you Sourcebooks Landmark and author Ashley Blooms for providing a copy in exchange for my review. 

View all my reviews

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