by Laura Ruby
Finn and his older brother Sean live in the town of Bone Gap. Sean works as a paramedic and has taken care of Finn since their mother left. Finn and Sean live alone, until one day an injured young woman named Roza appears in their barn. Sean and Finn take care of her and offer her the spare apartment in their house, and then she takes care of them. Everyone in the town loves Roza, Finn and Sean most of all. Then Roza disappears as suddenly as she appeared.
Finn was the only one to see her go, and although he knows she was abducted, he is frustratingly unable to describe her kidnapper, and no one believes his story, especially not Sean. Everyone thinks that Roza left of her own choice, as mysteriously as she came, and Sean tries his best to forget her. Finn is determined to find Roza, but how can he, when he doesn't know who took her or where she could be?
Bone Gap is a gorgeously written story with lovely magic realism and echoes of mythology. It's an ode to small town life, the good and the bad of it. (And even the "bad" things, like everyone knowing about everyone else, somehow end up being good in the end.)
Roza has viewpoint sections that alternate with Finn's, and Roza is no princess in a tower waiting to be rescued, even though at one point she is, literally, that. While Finn is trying to find her to save her, she never stops trying to escape, and to improve her situation when she can. The two stories build together towards an astonishing conclusion.
I can't say too much about it without spoiling some of the surprises, but from a diversity perspective, it deals with a disability that's rarely written about. It's also very much a feminist story, as it shows, in multiple nuanced and heartfelt ways, that a woman's worth is not defined by her beauty.
Bone Gap was a 2015 Cybils Awards finalist. It was also the 2016 Printz Award winner.
- Magic Realism
- Small Towns
Source: Library copy.
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