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Publisher's Summary

In a series of unflinching vignettes laced with heartbreak and often with humor, Places in the Bone gives an unforgettable account of loss and survival, childhood secrets banished from memory, and the power of language to retrieve the missing parts of oneself and one’s past. Woven together with unmistakable lyricism, Carol Dine’s narrative moves back and forth in time and place - from the childhood bedroom that fills her with fear, to a hospital room after her surgery for breast cancer, to an adobe hut in a New Mexico artists’ colony where she escapes and finds her voice.

This voice, it turns out, is a chorus - a harmony of cries, both anguished and triumphant. Among them we hear a young girl speak about the abuse by her father; we hear the tormented reflections of a mother who, for several years after a divorce, loses contact with her young son; and we hear the testimony of a cancer survivor. Through it all, we feel the determination, courage, and creativity of a woman who has spent more than two decades confronting her past, her body, and her identity. Despite her struggles, Dine finds positive influences in her life, including her mentor, Anne Sexton, who recognizes the fire in her words, and Stanley Kunitz, whose indomitable spirit provides enduring inspiration.  

More than a story of personal loss, the memoir moves us with its humanity, its unnerving wit, and its defiant faith. As the fragments come together, we experience Dine’s joy in living and her reconciliation with the past that allow her to renew bonds with her son, her sister, and her mother. Word after word, we witness the power of art to refigure a body, to transform suffering, and ultimately, to redeem.

©2005 Carol Dine (P)2020 Mark Alan Miller

What listeners say about Places in the Bone

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting book, great narration

The book itself was a pleasant surprise. I found the story interesting and it held my interest. I found the jumping between dates in the author's life a bit distracting but overall a good listen. The narrator did a great job, was easy to listen to and the tones used added to the story. I would listen to more books narrated by her.

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A compelling narrative, great performance

With a narrative whimsy reminiscent of Virginia Woolf, mixed with the dark, sardonic, self-reflective wit of David Sedaris, Carol Dine's "Places In the Bone" rides over the rough terrain of her life's story with grace and gravity. The narrators performance is an excellent pairing to the aesthetic voice of the memoir. A compelling story, well told!