Bone Gap

Go read this book.

Wait, that's not a very informative review?  Rats.

If you like Neil Gaiman, you need to read Bone Gap.  If you like Stephen King, you need to read Bone Gap.  If you are looking for an author whose prose is so lovely that it makes your heart ache, you need Laura Ruby.

This is a book that you need to experience.  I don't want to give a point-by-point summary of the book, because that's not going to help.  If anything, my pathetic attempts at conveying the wonder of this work will simply dissuade you from reading it.

At first glance, Bone Gap, Illinois, seems like your run-of-the-mill farmin' and bakin' pies Midwestern small town.  It's the place that you work your whole life to get out of, only to find yourself trapped by tragedy.  Sean O'Sullivan was going off to med school to be a doctor when his mom announced that she was running off with another guy, to another state, and leaving her sons behind.  In order to take care of his younger brother Finn, Sean gives up everything and works as an EMT in Bone Gap.  The two boys just ... exist.  Finn's known as the spacey one: Spacehead, Moonface.  He always seems to be off in some other world.

But other people notice Finn.  Oh, yes.  He's unbelievably pretty, making him the target of girls and boys alike.  Girls want to date him; boys want to beat him.  Finn mostly just experiences the latter.  And it's even worse now that Roza disappeared ... with Finn the only witness and unable to accurately describe her kidnapper.

You see, strange things do happen in Bone Gap.  Like the morning that Finn O'Sullivan went out to his barn and found a beautiful girl, bruised and broken, curled up in the hay like a lost cat.  Roza, with her long black curls and laughing voice, captivates all of Bone Gap, despite being a stranger.  She's Polish, but how she came to arrive in Bone Gap, or what exactly happened to her before being found by Finn remains a mystery.  And then, as mysteriously as she arrived, Roza disappeared.

Sliding in through another gap comes a horse: a beautiful, midnight mare as wild as she is gorgeous.  She, like Roza, appears one night in the O'Sullivan barn.

Because he's got nothing left to lose, Finn takes the mysterious mare on wild nighttime rides, always ending up at the house of Petey, daughter of the local beekeeper.  The town doesn't like Petey.  She's sullen and mercurial and, worst of all for a girl, she's not pretty.  Ruby doesn't give us specifics, but only says that her large eyes make her resemble the bees that her mother keeps.  Finn, however, doesn't care about that.  He's fascinated by Petey, and soon they develop a very real, very passionate, and very flawed relationship.

But there's always Roza.  Roza, who Sean should be looking for but who he's tried to forget.  Roza, whose voice we hear in alternating chapters.  For, you see, Roza's been kidnapped by a man who could give her anything and everything her heart desires.  But Roza says no.

Ruby creates a story that's as intricate as a beehive.  Don't fear the pain that you might feel from the sting of evil that lurks in the book, but slip quietly in, for then you will find the honey.


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