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Every Bone a Prayer


The the story of one tough-as-nails girl whose choices are few but whose fight ...
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Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

Created: 07/21/20

Replies: 29

Posted Jul. 21, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)


Posted Aug. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elyseg

Join Date: 11/13/17

Posts: 29

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I think there was a good story underneath the "magic realism" the author used as the framework. For me, that just got in the way.


Posted Aug. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 435

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I wasn't crazy about this book. The message was good and the book well-written, but it was a bit "far out" for me. I did care about Misty and her family and, beyond Misty and Penny's disputes, the family and extended family were close. I never totally understood why Misty's father left though. Like the comment from elyseg, I'd have liked the book to be more realistic.


Posted Aug. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 494

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I thought I was going to love this book, and at times I did. However, the extreme magic (referenced in a more specific question) spoiled it for me. I think the story would have been much more powerful if it had been realistic. Misty could still talk to little creatures and find comfort in nature and think about Appalachian legends/folk tales without the magical element that the entire holler population sees and interacts with at the end.


Posted Aug. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyb

Join Date: 02/17/18

Posts: 17

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I agree with the comments so far. The magical elements got in the way of a pretty good story. I just skipped those parts and felt frustrated that so much effort went into writing in a way that made no sense.


Posted Aug. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerryp

Join Date: 08/04/20

Posts: 32

RE: Od you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I did enjoy the book. It was not a fast read, had to take my time in order to understand the,”magic.”
At times I felt like I was reading poetry.


Posted Aug. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 386

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I am glad I read the book. It was a fast read for me. The magical aspects were interesting but at times confusing! It is a book that I will recommend to friends but my book club ladies would not get it all!


Posted Aug. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianeh

Join Date: 08/01/16

Posts: 70

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I enjoyed the book although I found that I really had to focus on the message. The writing was well done and, in some cases, actually quite poetic.


Posted Aug. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 140

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I loved this book and thought it was well written. I felt like the magical parts were Misty's way of escaping her reality.


Posted Aug. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Kathleen V

Join Date: 06/02/20

Posts: 14

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

The writing was gorgeous and the story an important one, though incredibly sad and painful to read. I, too, found the magical realism a little jarring. Misty's communion with nature worked for me, and I think the interaction with Caroline was an interesting way to tell that story, but other elements of magic in the story didn't help me more deeply understand the narrative or advance the plot for me.


Posted Aug. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kenanr

Join Date: 02/20/14

Posts: 36

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

The writing was gorgeous! I am a little apt to agree with the others in that the extreme magical aspects were a bit difficult. The idea of everyone and everything having a name that went back for all time and was shaped by memories and history however, was truly pitch perfect. I loved Misty and thought she was perfectly drawn and a thoroughly fleshed out character. I have passed it along to my husband, and am interested to hear what he thinks of the book. I think it would be a really good book for discussion for book clubs.


Posted Aug. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
skagitgrits's Gravatar
skagitgrits

Join Date: 02/24/17

Posts: 47

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

The main topic of the story made this a difficult book to read. The magic woven into the story tended to take over in some instances and it was difficult for me to get past that to the actual story being told. Though I do think children who have gone through abuse tend to escape into magical thinking so that part of it was realistic. There were moments when the writing was simply beautiful and other times when it was a slog to read. This is not a book I would recommend to others.


Posted Aug. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mmr

Join Date: 08/06/20

Posts: 10

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I think Every Bone a Prayer is masterfully written and speaks on universal issues on childhood and abuse. For me, the magical realism was distracting, but that is more about me and my preferences. I think there is an audience that will love this book.


Posted Aug. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Jessica F

Join Date: 05/23/20

Posts: 146

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I was thrown for a loop with all the fantasy aspects. I wanted a heart-wrenching story about a young girl who was abused and came out on top. I got a mystical story that left me confused. I never connected to Misty's pain. I was too busy trying to understand the magic.

I did enjoy reading about the family. I found the aunts and cousins to be so warm and tender. I also enjoyed watching the spats and growth between Misty and her sister. Being in Appalachia, all they have is each other and their tight knit community. I think Blooms did a great job portraying that.


Posted Aug. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
windellh

Join Date: 11/05/17

Posts: 72

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I think the author spent too much time creating a fantasy world. I would have been more pleased to see more interaction among the characters and little time spent creating a fantasy world. A little confusing at times.


Posted Aug. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 256

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I was looking forward to reading this book; however, I found it very difficult to get into. The theme of abuse is a very important one, but the fantasy aspect took over the important message the author was trying to convey.


Posted Aug. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annar

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 92

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

As I said earlier, I didn't like this book. It was disjointed and very difficult to read. Some of the story was just ridiculous. I kept reading it because I thought it would get better. it didn't.
I do hope writing this book helped the author in her recovery from the abuse she suffered.
I agree with others in their posts.


Posted Aug. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cindyj

Join Date: 06/26/18

Posts: 28

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

The excessive description and magical realism overshadowed the story.


Posted Aug. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
windellh

Join Date: 11/05/17

Posts: 72

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I agree with all these comments. Too much fantasy, not enough realism.


Posted Aug. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
analisea

Join Date: 08/11/20

Posts: 3

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

Whew, it's nice to see a lot of folks felt the same way I did! I really wanted to like this book, but I felt like all the reasons I was interested in the story got overshadowed by the magical realism elements. I was interested in a place-based story set in Appalachia with complicated family dynamics, but I felt like I was mostly reading about Misty interacting with the world and the magical elements happening in her environment instead. If the book had a different summary that better presented the narrative, I think it would better attract readers that would enjoy this book.


Posted Aug. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindaa

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

This book was hard for me to read in two ways. First, Misty's life was very difficult and that in itself was upsetting. Second, I'm not a fan of books with magical realism although there are a few I've enjoyed. The magical realism combined with what I imagine are Appalachian folk tales got in the way of the story.


Posted Aug. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PiperUp

Join Date: 10/27/15

Posts: 146

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I agree with others who found the magical realism took them away from the story. I'm usually a fan of magical realism but it just didn't work for me this time around.


Posted Aug. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Harley's Mom

Join Date: 02/21/19

Posts: 32

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

Based on the description, I really expected to like this book. The more I got into the story, however, the opposite was true and I couldn't wait to be finished with it. I think this author has has talent but the magical realism took over and killed the story line.


Posted Aug. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annl

Join Date: 04/03/17

Posts: 40

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I have read so many books in this type of setting that it seemed like just another one. Glass Castle from years ago was excellent. I understand many children use ficticious friends to overcome life’s issues. But i did not feel the ficticious friends were effectively tied to her abuse and other issues.


Posted Aug. 16, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
johnw

Join Date: 03/11/12

Posts: 86

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

After reading the summary I thought it was going to be fun book to read... then I started reading it and more I read the less I liked it. My issue was similar to almost everyone - magic got in the way of a great potential read.


Posted Aug. 19, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 86

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I so wanted to like this book. The introduction did not scare me away. However I had such a hard time with mystical magical realism that I put the book down. The topic such an important one. I wanted the exploration and experience of Misty...based on the above comments I will pick it up and look for the story underneath ...


Posted Aug. 22, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 86

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I did pick up the book and felt I had to look for the story. Once in a while it emerged! Too much magical mystical realism for me. It over shadowed what would be a great story, an important story with occasional reference to escapism would have worked better for me. If it worked as a catharsis for the author then it did its job....just not my style.


Posted Aug. 31, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
methna

Join Date: 08/28/20

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

~~ CONTAINS SPOILERS ~~

The substantive subject of rape is presented like a myth and provides the reader a "synthetic way of depicting reality", which is described literarily as magical realism.

Misty's name is a prominent foreshadowing of her inner turmoil and consequent actions. The isolated surroundings of her Appalachian home, Penny's separation from the sibling bond, the lack of communication within her immediate family keeping the girls out of the loop with regard to the parents' separation, leave their Mother's extended family providing the definition of"normal" for the girls.
Misty relies on her ability to communicate with animate and inanimate creatures. This attribute cannot be attributed to a "super power" as it is a coping mechanism, somewhat like a child's imaginary friend.

William, Penny and William (the sexual abuser) are the triumvirate of children left to cope on their own with minimal family interference. Penny, like many in dysfunctional families, closes herself off. Perhaps this way of coping keeps her sane.She seems to relate well to her Mom's family when she, Misty and Beth visit. She even expresses her feelings of leaving her immediate family to live with them. Misty too escapes the realities of her life and environment when she has no guidance from anyone. It is a magical characteristic which allows her to speak to crawfish and to summon them. She communes with the garden and listens to the words of a murdered woman's ghost.

Misty's nighttime wanderings, her quiet disobedience and the meetings with William culminate in the planting of a toy truck and glass in the neighbor's forbidden garden. The bizarre green glass man and statue like objects grow, as well as William's demise by the punishing garden—These are not figments of Misty's imagination, but visible things that draw onlookers to the area. This leads to the local evangelical parish trip to see the magical scene. As it is being viewed by the congregation, it mysteriously causes the women to begin a frenzied dance which results in Misty's Mom collapsing in a coma.

Magically shedding her skin on several occasions leaves Misty frightened and vulnerable when she has to struggle to return to the confines of her human form. Perhaps, as the author stated in an interview, she "was trying to heal her relationship with her body after the experience of sexual violence."

The mysterious disappearance of Misty leaves her extended family searching everywhere for her to no avail. She returns home and confesses to no one but Penny.

Beth, Penny and Misty move out of the trailer and into her grandmother's vacant house (which has been available throughout the unraveling of the plot). Now that she is surrounded and loved by her relatives, evidently her damaged psyche is healed. The author seems to paint things as normal until Misty puts her boyfriend's head through the car window when he tries to kiss her.

I am not a fan of magical realism and, in this case I felt she relied too heavily on the format. Nor is this an easy read for an audience without a background in the literary device. I found myself , a former English teacher and librarian, researching after reading a blurb about the book.

The author interview your website presented was very helpful and I liked the Blooms statements about her biography, name and experiences and I think they helped in my analysis. If I chose this book for a Book Club discussion, I would most definitely provide the interview and research on Magical realism to help with the understanding and interpretation. It would be interesting to compare the Club's reaction to my own.


Posted Sep. 03, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 460

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

Definitely not my kind of book. I had a lot of trouble trying to stay with it and just gave up.


Posted Sep. 07, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
robinj

Join Date: 09/07/20

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what did you think of Every Bone a Prayer? (No spoilers in this thread, please.)

I just read trigger warnings on the author’s webpage. I think if I had read this before reading the book I would of had a context to understand the magical thinking of Misty and would have enjoyed it much more, as she gives examples of what emotional situations she was writing about.

I didn’t get into this book until Chapter 17. I felt like the author used too many words/sentences to express herself, which led me to being confused often and struggling to find a connection from chapter to chapter. I finally came to understanding the whole picture by the end of the book. She did a good job developing her characters but I didn’t become emotionally attached to any of them. I appreciate the strong relationships between the sisters, the longing for connection to the mother and father. Found it interesting the adult siblings retrospection of growing up. I wanted to enjoy the magical thinking but it didn’t resonate with me. If you do enjoy magical fantasy intertwined with realism, I suggest reading Erin Morgenstern’s books, Night Circus and The Starless Sea.


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