Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

bone gapThe O’Sullivan brothers are an unlikely pair that live in the bump in the road otherwise known as Bone Gap. Capable Sean, early twenties and strapping, supports himself and his younger brother as an EMT.  Dreamy-headed Finn is known as the town kook.  He has difficulties in facial recognitions, and sees things – well, differently – than other people.  Which is why he sees a beauty in the local beekeeper’s daughter that nobody else catches.  And why he can’t, for the life of him, describe the sinister stranger that kidnapped Roza, the young Polish woman who has been staying with the brothers since they found her sleeping in their barn, bruised and bleeding.

Roza blooms as she recovers from injury, and the town of Bone Gap blooms with her.  She brings a great sense of life to everyone she encounters, and the O’Sullivan brothers have a special love for Roza.  So it is particularly distressing when a tall stranger takes her, and Finn is the only witness.  And he can’t remember the right details, what the man really looks like, to describe him to others.  It’s as if Roza has fallen through a crack in the earth.

Bone Gap alternates between two storylines – the town in the aftermath of Roza’s disappearance, and the places Roza is taken, each of them disconcerting.

In some ways, the town is worse off – nothing grows as it should, and there is a lack of focus, as if everyone is stumbling through a pitiable sort of half existence.  Finn does his own stumbling, right up to the house of Petey Willis, the beekeeper’s daughter that everyone else thinks as homely.  Finn doesn’t.  He finds her interesting and smart, and she accepts him.

Regardless of his new-found happiness, Finn still feels responsible for finding Roza, but doesn’t have a beginning clue.  Maybe it has something to do with the corn talking to him.  Or the mysterious horse that takes up residence in the barn, conveys Finn to many a midnight visit to Petey’s, and takes both of them on wild rides through unknown places.

Maybe it is Finn himself who knows the way to Roza’s otherworldly prison.

The author uses mythology and fairy tale motifs to craft a satisfying yarn about young love and youthful confusions.  Those that read young adult fiction and like the fantastical might like Bone Gap.

Listen for the corn whispering through the wind.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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