Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
(Balzer + Bray, 2015, 345 pages)
Bone Gap is the second title being discussed by SCC’s Between the Covers book club. This young adult novel got a lot of attention: winning the 2016 Printz Award and being a National Book Award finalist in the Young People’s Literature category. I picked it up without knowing a lot of background information besides the fact that people really enjoyed it. I was surprised to learn there was a magical realism element to the text and that the author pulled elements from mythology to enhance the story.
Bone Gap, Illinois is a small town where everyone knows everyone’s business. Finn and his brother, Sean, live alone after their mother leaves them to move west with her new boyfriend. Finn is about to enter his senior year in high school. Sean had planned to become a doctor, but he gave up that dream when he realized he’d have to stay home and support Finn. Their lives brightened when Roza appeared. They didn’t know much of her backstory but she made their lives seem whole again. When Roza goes missing Sean effectively breaks down and Finn berates himself because he saw the whole thing happen, yet he can’t seem to offer any information about the man she was last seen with.
The story is told from alternating points of view – we get Roza and Finn’s perspectives most of the time. As Finn continues to try and figure out what happened to Roza and how to bring her home it becomes clear that there are gaps in Bone Gap, ways to slip between worlds… But once you’ve slipped into a new realm, it might not be so easy to get back out.
Can’t wait to discuss this at book club on March 30!