Bone by Bone: A Love Story  by Paula Martin

Bone by Bone: A Love Story by Paula Martin

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Inspired by the author's own search for her roots, Bone by Bone: A Love Story spans 187 years (1830-2017) and is the story of seven generations of a family and the tragedies, trauma, and ultimately love that they unknowingly pass along to their future generations. Beginning in the Choctaw homeland in Mississippi, the lineage suffers displacement, abandonment, betrayal, and rejection that are repeated generation after generation, yet the ancestral love and deep spiritual connections are also passed along, and ultimately set them all free. A story of tragedy and ancestral healing, Bone by Bone reminds us that we are all connected and loved.



"Bone by Bone is a marvelous book. I'm sorry to be so trite, but once I started, I knew I wanted to keep reading, and surely that is the test of any book. I am not a person who holds any supernatural beliefs, and yet all of this was somehow comforting even to a hardcore atheist....It certainly gives one a new perspective." 
--Grif Stockley, author of  Blood in Their Eyes: The Elaine Race Massacres of 1919


"As its subtitle tells us, Paula Martin’s Bone by Bone is a love story, but it’s not a conventional love story of the boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-again variety. It’s about the kind of love the Chickasaw poet Linda Hogan speaks of when she says that each of us is 'the result of the love of thousands.' It’s about the chain of love that ties us to all of our ancestors, and how that love, that connection, is passed down to us via a kind of spiritual DNA that allows us to discover the past in the natural world’s eternal present. The narrator of the novel’s surprising and moving final chapter doesn’t discover her family’s history by logging on to; she discovers it by listening to the songs of rivers and 'the stories in the dirt' of her homeland. Whether she’s writing about a six-year-old Choctaw boy, a woman who has lived sixty years falsely believing she was white, or a Cherokee man dying in France during WWI, Martin writes with true authority, conviction, and intensity about the long history of love that brought each of us into this world."

—David Jauss, author of Glossolalia: New & Selected Stories


"In Bone by Bone, the boundaries between humans, animals and the earth itself are blurred, transcended and, ultimately, erased. An epic tale that begins with the devastation and suffering of the Choctaw Nation on the Trail of Tears and ends in modern times, Bone by Bone will remind readers numbed by the digital world of the power, healing and salvation to be found in the natural one. A beautifully written and exceptional literary achievement."

--Paula Hilton, author of Little Miss Chaos