Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Published March 2017 by Faber
RRP AUD $19.99
A masterful and seductive tale of love, magic, regret and forgiveness. Winner of the 2016 Michael L. Printz Award.He’d been drawn here by the grass and the bees and the strange sensation that this was a magical place, that the bones of the world were a little looser here, double- jointed, twisting back on themselves, leaving spaces one could slip into and hide…
Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps – gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza goes missing, the people of Bone Gap aren’t surprised. After all, it isn’t the first time someone’s slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was taken, ripped from the cornfields by a man whose face he can’t remember. But no one believes him anymore. Well, almost no one. Petey Willis, the beekeeper’s daughter, suspects that lurking behind Finn’s fearful shyness is a story worth uncovering. But as we, like Petey, follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap – their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures – the truth about what happened to Roza is slowly revealed. And it is stranger than you can possibly imagine.
Alrighty, let’s get into it! So before I started this book I was drawn to the cover, it looked so magical and I didn’t know what to expect, but I was excited. I didn’t know that it has been previously published until I looked it up on Goodreads, but I was intrigued at how many ratings and reviews there were for it. I hadn’t heard of Laura Ruby before, so I didn’t have any expectations.
For the most part, I think I enjoyed the book. It was confusing, and I still don’t really know how I feel about it, so I’ve stuck with the initial 3 star rating. It’s a magical realism book, so it did have some magical aspects to it, but they were incorporated in a way that made me very confused as to where and when the book was supposed to be set. I didn’t know whether it was set in the 19th century or like modern day times, but there were modern amenities and ambulances so I guess it was a very modern 19th century? I really don’t know.
Some parts of the book were interesting and I enjoyed them, but even though I knew about it, I didn’t really see a proper plot happening, like the main purpose seemed to be more of a side-quest. About halfway through the story it seemed to launch into a flashback, but there were no markings stating that it was a flashback, and I don’t know if it’s the result of me reading this at midnight, or just how the book is written, but I was so confused. I had to reread that section a few times before I decided that it was indeed a flashback, and not a very accurate repetition of the past.
Some of the characters were interesting, but most of the townspeople were stereotypical closed-minded rural people, and I didn’t like them. The main character, Finn, had quite an interesting way of thinking and feeling, and I quite enjoyed it. I didn’t, however, enjoy the romantic relationship he shared with another character, I didn’t really feel the connection until the one scene at night-time where they were open with each other, but that quickly crashed and burned.
I suppose this book is more of an acquired taste, but I just didn’t think it was anything special, and I got too confused to fully love it. I would probably recommend other books instead of this one, but I also wouldn’t say don’t read it, it’s very so/so.
TRIGGER WARNING: There’s a lot of bad behaviour about women’s bodies from some male characters, and like bad experiences and memories about men disrespecting them, if you get what I mean.
I received a review copy from the publisher
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Ruby is an author of books for adults, teens, and children, including the Printz award-winning Bone Gap, Edgar-nominated mystery Lily’s Ghosts, the 2006 Book Sense Pick Good Girls, and the acclaimed novels Play Me and Bad Apple. She is on the faculty of Hamline University’s MFA in writing for children and young adults program and lives in the Chicago area. Her website is http://www.lauraruby.com or you can follow her on Twitter at: @thatlauraruby.