Check out what I thought about National Book Award finalist BONE GAP by Laura Ruby!
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.
Reading Bone Gap was a magical experience. I fell fast. I fell hard.
I was like, “Talking corn! Cats! Magical horses! Badass ladies! Sad boys! GOATS!”
I think you go into this book expecting it’s about Finn and his brother Sean, and then discover it’s really about two women: Roza and Petey. And it’s about society and male gaze and the expectations put on girls. And what happens when people see your worth based on your beauty (Roza and Petey) or your ‘quirks’ (Finn).
The characters made this book. Roza could have easily been the manic pixie dream girl who saves Sean and Finn from their sad life, but she’s not. She’s her own wonderfully fleshed out complex character. This was apparent to me as I read and marveled over it, but more so when I saw Laura Ruby at Books of Wonder last week. She talked about how the myth of Persephone fascinated her, but annoyed her because the story was never about Persephone. Bone Gap is about Roza. The girl who goes missing.
The amazing Children’s National Book Awards Finalists panel at Books of Wonder on Monday November 16, 2015.
I love Bone Gap because of its amazing characters, vivid-heartbreaking writing, and the goat. Its critique of fairy tales, exploration of beauty, and unexpected diversity make it a must read!
I’m sorry, is THE ENTIRE BOOK not a valid answer?
She read and reread all kinds of books for all kinds of reasons. 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. (page 207)