Bone Gap was one of these books I feel like I’ve been waiting to read for, well, forever. I heard that it was strange, I heard that it was weird, I heard that it was unique…but what was it, really, then? After closing the last page, I finally got my answer. It’s ALL of that, and even more.
Welcome to strange-town…
“The way they knew that Bone Gap had gaps just wide enough for people to slip through, or slip away, leaving only their stories behind.”
Trying to describe Bone Gap is like trying to describe what it’s like to open a book you love over, and over again. It’s almost impossible, and only understandable for the people who ACTUALLY love the same book as you do, the same amount as you do. Bone Gap is a story you have to read, and experiment for yourself, because it’s not so much a plot, around which characters are revolving, evolving, changing and growing. It’s a story about PEOPLE, in a particular place you can’t quite pin on a map, because there are so many strange things happening, sometimes you wonder if you’re still actually SOMEWHERE on a map, or not. Wow, I am rambling now, aren’t I? The point is, this is the story of Bone Gap’s inhabitants. Flawed, strange, it’s their lives we get a peek into. And it’s beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, there’s actually a plot, and it all starts when Roza, a stranger living in Bone Gap for a few months, disappears. And Finn, beautiful, cute little Finn, can’t get over it, he NEEDS to know what happened, and to find her.
How do you really see the people you love?
“Funny how you notice how beautiful things are just when you’re about to leave them.”
The strong suit of that book, and definitely the heart of this story, were the characters. And they were all incredible. Told from multiple point of views, but mostly from Finn’s point of view, it’s like we are stepping into people’s lives, getting to know all of their struggles, their flaws, their deep desires, everything. They are not perfect, they are not rock stars or anything, they are just, people like you and me. If I’m always a bit wary about reading from multiple perspectives, I have to say that this was handled very well by the author, and we could definitely differentiate and get a glimpse of each characters’ struggle and lives, past and present. What was definitely the most interesting in that book were, besides the characters, their relationships to each other. Okay, raise your hands if you thought Finn wanting to find Roza meant Finn was actually in love with Roza? I’ll admit that I did, and I WAS PROVEN WRONG AND I LOVED IT. Moreover, every relationship is clouded with doubt, a lack of self-confidence, faults and it was just so, so true and REAL. This is a book about people, about relationships, and mix that all up and you get a wonderful take about how you see people. Especially the ones you love. Behind their physical features, their flaws, their origins, behind everything, deep down to their core. And now that, was beautiful.
Magical Realism at its best
“Finn fell asleep draped in Kittens and dreamed that the corn walked the earth on skinny white roots, liked to joke with the crows, and wasn’t afraid of anything.”
If it’s hard to describe Bone Gap’s story without actually reading it, it’s even harder to get into, and this explains my rating at the end. That book could have been perfect, really, and it is probably for all lovers of magical realism. The wind is shouting, the rivers are taking you away, the corn is whispering, ravens are battling…The whole universe is real, magic, and there’s some kind of atmosphere you get thrown into, without warning, without protection either. It’s like stepping in another world, and, really, it’s just as strong as getting into any fantasy universe you can think of. Except that it FEELS even more real. It unsettled me, at first, and took me some time to get into. But Laura Ruby’s incredible, lyrical writing took me away more than once, making me, by the last pages, falling in love with it.
If you love contemporaries, if you love fantasy, to be honest, if you just love to feel like you’re in a completely different world where anything can happen, just read Bone Gap. With incredibly realistic characters and relationships, that book will make you see the world, and the people around you, differently afterwards.
Final rating: 4 drops!
Did you read Bone Gap? Do you want to read it?
Do you like magical realism or not? Do you have any book recommendations in that genre? Share your thoughts in comments!
Laura Ruby, Bone Gap, Published by Balzer + Bray, March 3rd 2015.
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.