Friday, December 6, 2013

This Is the Rope: A Story From The Great Migration by Jacqueline Woodson

Woodson brings a magnificent gift to her writing. Sometimes she moves me far beyond what I know in life, leaving me speechless. This Is the Rope does that to me.

While fiction, Woodson draws on her own inferences of growing up and making sense of the historical schema and living truths of her family in this book. She names indirectly and directly some of her family experiences dating back to the early 1900's. She leads her readers into these connections in gentle and authentic ways. I found myself wondering frequently what it must have been like for her to make sense of her family lineage, the history that has interrupted some of her family living, and the movement from down south to New York that has taken place in her lifetime and before. This Is the Rope leads readers into questions seemingly outside of their reach, inviting us to consider what it means to move within the United States, changing home spaces and questioning family establishment.

Woodson is beyond honest in her writing, and This Is the Rope invites us readers to dig deeper and wonder more fully about what metaphor of truth fills in some of the questions children grow up with regarding their family history.

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