Misty, a 10-year-old living in a little Appalachian holler, has the unique ability to talk to anything around her in nature and at home. The crawdads give her comfort when her father leaves and her mother grows distant, the trees tell Misty tales when her sister stops talking to her, and even her trailer's front door promises to keep her family safe. But everything changes when the neighbor boy tries to use her powers for his own needs, and in the process he hurts Misty in a way that makes her wonder if she can ever recover. A tribute to backwoods magic that you can't claim isn't real, the pains and horrors of mistreatment at the hands of others, and growing up and healing no matter the age. Blooms puts into beautiful words one girl accepting the power she holds, both magical and natural, and the strength that every woman has even if they don’t know it.— Margaret Kennedy
"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