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Every Bone a Prayer by Ashley Blooms

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At the beginning of this book is “A Word from the Author.” It says that the book “is about trauma, vulnerability, and healing.” She goes on, “As a survivor and as someone with PTSD, trigger or content warning have helped me . . . so . . . I’d like you to know that it contains depictions of sexual abuse between children, domestic violence, emotional abuse, depictions of Evangelical  Faith, and body horror/grotesque imagery.” She does not write this to hype up her book. She writes this as a survivor to other survivors. It is a book about recovery from abuse and trauma. It does not exploit it or embrace it. This book depicts a character, Misty, who is coming to grips with her trauma and is trying valiantly to overcome it. "I have loved Every Bone a Prayer since I saw an early draft years ago, loved Misty, her family, her secret talents, and the way she sees the world around her, from the crawfish in muddy water to the ghostly trees she runs past in the night, to the trailer park where she and her family barely survive. This is a book and a writer I highly recommend." - Dorothy Allison. "Every Bone A Prayer is a difficult, important, and beautifully rendered story of generational trauma, survival, and healing. The characters I met within its pages have stayed with me, their names and stories etched on my memory." – NPR. "In this haunting debut novel, Blooms makes a mystical exploration of the hidden power that lies within and the strategies assault survivors can undertake to regain a feeling of ownership over body and mind." – Booklist. "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. The author, Ashley Blooms, grew up on Cutshin Creek in Leslie County, Kentucky, deep in the mountains in the kind of setting she chose for her debut novel. Her MFA is from the University of Mississippi.

Napierville, Illinois: Sourcebooks Landmark, 2020. 352 pages. Trade paperback with a reading group guide and a conversation with the author.