Book Review: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Number of Pages: 345
Date Published: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
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
“I heard you weren’t getting much sleep.”
“It’s Bone Gap. People talk.”
“All of them,”
“You might be wandering around in the dark, but we can all hear the hoofbeats.”
Magical realism is a genre I can’t quite get enough of. Normally, I would have gushed about how beautiful the prose is or how much of a page-turner the story is, but Bone Gap is different. It didn’t have the same spark that The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender had, so I was really tempted to put it away.
But I didn’t, which was probably one of the better choices I’ve made.
Not a lot of people would find this story engaging. The entire book is coated in prose which I normally would have appreciated had it not seem (at times) muddled and spacey. I can’t quite put my foot on it. I’ve always looked forward to being captivated by worlds created by elegant words, but I didn’t find a lot of things to like even after about a hundred pages or so.
HOWEVER, things started to fare differently after the big reveal, and I found myself more wrapped up in the story than before. Only then did I see it – the mystery lurking behind those beautiful words.
Still, the unique thing about the story is that it doesn’t depend on the mystery to keep it going. There are heaps of ponder-able ideas. I found myself thinking about Bone Gap and the feelings of its inhabitants. I thought that a lot of people were to blame, even Finn, even Sean, even Petey, but the reveal demanded me to stop and rethink everything. Not everything is what it seems. Oh stop it. What a painfully cliche thing to say.
This book can make you think and rethink a lot of things. Each character has something to hide. You think you’ve adjusted to their thoughts, but you haven’t. Not yet, not until everything is out in the open.
Being gorgeous might be more trouble than it’s worth.
The story isn’t just about Roza and her disappearance. It’s about so many things. It talks about beauty and love in their most complicated forms. It differentiates looking but not looking, seeing but not seeing, looking without seeing, and seeing without looking. I don’t want to give away any more specific themes because it might tarnish the mystery and the goodness of it all.
Bone Gaps starts painfully slow but becomes brisk and enchanting along the way. It’s a good read if you fancy fantasy and magical realism, refreshing relationships, and the comforting presence of animals. Oh and talking corns too.
Funny how you notice how beautiful things are just when you’re about to leave them.
But wasn’t that love? Seeing what no one else could?
Because we don’t have your typical gaps around here. Not gaps made of rocks or mountains. We have gaps in the world. In the space of things. So many places to lose yourself, if you believe that they’re there. You can slip into the gap and never find your way out. Or maybe you don’t want to find your way out.
“I’ve never understood why people choose to do the things that are hardest for them.”