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Bone Gap is an astonishing, complex and captivating read. It’s one of those books that’s difficult to put down; you just want to keep reading, savouring the story, to find out what happens. Set in a tiny village in Illinois, it’s the story of seventeen-year-old Finn, who is trying to make sense of a bewildering world during one strange and magical summer. Finn lives with his older brother Sean, following their mother’s departure a couple of years previously. As the story opens, we find out that Roza, a beautiful Polish student who had been staying with them, was abducted a couple of months ago. Finn witnessed her being taken away by a tall stranger, but he can’t describe the man’s face, and no-one believes him. He determines to try and find Roza, to mend the rift between him and his brother. At the same time, he is drawn towards Priscilla the beekeeper’s daughter – otherwise known as Petey. They spend magical night-times together, falling in love for the first time, and Petey helps Finn to understand what has been happening.
The novel is told from different characters’ viewpoints, and moves backwards and forwards in time, so that the whole story gradually unfolds, with a satisfying ending. The characterisation is strong; Finn is absorbing with his different outlook on life, Petey is deliciously individual and quirky and Roza is a brave and resourceful heroine who refuses to be a victim.
Bone Gap is full of original characters, and strange happenings. The story moves into the realm of fantasy, but in a natural and intriguing way, sweeping the reader along. Many elements of the story are unexplained and mysterious – but that just adds to the Bone Gap atmosphere. At times intense, with an uneasy undercurrent of menace, but also clever, funny and beautifully written.