I read a weird, interesting, awesome book not too long ago, and…
I really liked it.
The summary, from Goodreads:
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 went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?
Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.
As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.
So why should you read this book?
1. The setting is so richly drawn you feel like you’re there. From the cornfields of Bone Gap to the O’Sullivans’ farmhouse to Roza’s increasingly perplexing surroundings, it’s easy to fall into this book.
In despair, he left that farm and came to Bone Gap when it was a huge expanse of empty fields, 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 little looser here, double-jointed, twisting back on themselves, leaving spaces one could slip into and hide.
2. The characters are great. Sean and his stalwartness, Finn and his naïveté, Roza and her understated strength, Petey and her lovable prickliness — I loved them all. I didn’t want this book to end.
“What have you got against people?”
Finn hated crowds. Thousands of people bumping and churning. “Too many opinions.”
3. Its representation of a misunderstood illness. No spoilers, but I thought what the author did here was so subtle and so well done.
4. The writing was lovely.
He was tired of everyone believing they knew everything there was to know about him, as if a person never grew, a person never changed, a person was born a weird and dreamy little kid with too-red lips and stayed that way forever just to keep things simple for everyone else.
5. Female empowerment will always get a big thumbs up from me.
When she was little, someone gave her some weird book called The Wife Store. It was about a very lonely man who decided that he wanted to get married. So he went to the wife store, where endless women lined enormous shelves. He picked himself a wife and bought her. She was bagged up and put in a cart. He took her home. After that, the two of them went to the children store to buy a few kids.
Petey read this book over and over. Not because she liked it, but because she kept waiting for the story to change, kept waiting for the day she’d turn the page and a woman would get to the husband store. She kept waiting for justice. But, of course, the story never changed. She never got justice. If Petey were keeping one of her lists of the things she hated, she wold have to add: the fact that there was no justice. But The Wife Store was still on her shelf at home, if only to remind her that there were assholes in the world who would write such things, believe such things.
6. Its humor amid the more serious themes of the novel. I always love a good humorous undertone.
The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don’t know what you’re doing, someone else does.
7. KITTENS. As well as a magical horse and a feisty goat. Well-placed animals in a story make me smile.
The book went from magical realism to straight-up unrealism pretty rapidly. The fairy-tale ending threw me a little.
But overall, I loved this book, and will be picking up this author’s other books ASAP.