Review: Bone Gap {Laura Ruby}

Written by Laura Ruby
Amazon | Book Depository 

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 high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy and a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame? But 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 any more. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.
Usually, magical realism is one of my favourite things and those kinds of book become my favourites. I say usually, because in Bone Gap it just didn't quite work.

It's not that this was a bad book, because it wasn't. It's not even that it was a strange book, because I love that in my stories. It's just that there was no point to its strangeness. In most books, magical realism has a place and a purpose, whereas here I felt like it was just thrown in to try and make the story seem more complex than it really was.

Bone Gap would've benefited a lot from being more of a thriller than a fantasy, because the best parts of the story are in the characters. They're in the relationship between Finn and Petey, the story of Roza's captivity, and the uniqueness of Finn's condition.

This book is at its best when its exploring the relationships between the characters and the odd sense of community in the town, made stronger by its need to simultaneously ostracise and show sympathy for its outsiders.

Laura Ruby writes magnificent dialogue, but the best things are the things the characters don't say at all. Finn's internal monologues are the most interesting to read, because they contain every ounce of him that he's too scared to show to the world. 

It's beautiful to be able to see a character in a way that nobody else does. And the revelation of why he can't remember the face of Roza's kidnapper was a wonderful twist and how it impacted Finn and his relationship with his brother was fantastically done.

As for Roza, I adored how her story was sandwiched between the pages of Finn's. Laura Ruby portrayed Roza's relationship with her captor in a more complex and twisted way than I ever imagined, and I found myself looking forward to her chapters the most. 

Roza was more than just a 'damsel in distress', but became a true heroine capable of fighting for not only her life, but her sense of self. What sullied Roza's chapters were the magical elements of both her prison and her kidnapper, which were unnecessary and took away from the intimate emotion of those scenes.

Despite a very slow start, this book really grabbed me toward the end and I found myself eager to see Roza find her salvation and Finn find a way to accept himself. If the magical realism wasn't so forced, then this would've been less confusing and more of a strong character novel. Unfortunately, the magical elements was just superfluous and distracted from the true story; which was about family, belonging, and the kind of love that stems from truly knowing a person.

Funny how you notice how beautiful things are just when you're about to leave them."

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