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Bone Gap by Laura Ruby


Topics of Interest: Magic Realism, small towns, brothers, bees, animals, identity, gossip

Curriculum Connections: English, Environmental Science, Writer’s Craft

Gender: M/F

Age: 14+

Blurb: There’s something incestuous about really small towns. I don’t mean in the literal, icky way it sounds, but in the way that everyone knows everyone else’s business. Kids grow up together attending the same school, the same church, and playing on the same teams. They know each other’s middle names, birthdates, allergies, and fears. There are no secrets for more than about a minute, and bad news spreads faster than head lice. Your prom date ate your glue in kindergarten, and your spouse called you Chicken Legs.

When Roza, in Bone Gap, shows up out of nowhere, small town gossip rises in glee. Who is she? Where did she come from? Does she know how beautiful she is? Which one of the O’Sullivan brothers does she love? Will she stay in Bone Gap?

And when she disappears as mysteriously as she arrived, the gossips want to know where she went. Will she come back? Are the kind and handsome O’Sullivan brothers doomed to be alone forever? Will they ever recover from losing their mother, and now Roza?

The townsfolk are convinced that Roza ran away, but Finn O’Sullivan knows differently. He saw her being kidnapped. The problem? He can’t describe the man who took her. The bigger problem? No one believes him anyway…not his brother who loved her, not the town cop, not his eccentric neighbor who prefers chickens to his own grandchildren. Finn knows that if Roza is to be rescued, he’ll have to do it.

Rumour has it that Bone Gap has gaps. Finn just has to find one.

Flavour: “At first, [Roza] had answered [her kidnapper’s] questions with questions: Who are you? Who are you really? What do you want? What is this place? What’s wrong with you? But he would smile that bland, pleasant smile—the smile of an uncle, a teacher, a clerk, all those men with all those teeth—a smile that just made him all the more terrifying. ‘You’ll love me soon. You’ll see.’” (24)

“Even now—after the people of Bone Gap had decided that Roza left the same mysterious way she had come, as if she were some shining gift that no one could claim, and that they would never have the privilege of understanding her past or being a part of her future—Finn was scanning the crowd for Roza’s glossy coiling hair, the lively bounce of her step, the smile so sunny that it seemed to blaze with a light of its own. But the people here didn’t bounce or blaze, they only pointed and whispered.” (30-31)

“Finn’s breathing got harder and deeper, as if his very breath was angry and was attempting to launch as attack from the depths of his lungs. ‘You know this guy, you know he took Roza, you knew I wasn’t lying about what I saw, and you didn’t do anything? You didn’t say anything? You let people think I was crazy! And Roza! What about Roza!’

‘It’s complicated.’

‘What’s complicated about it?’ Finn yelled. ‘Who is that man? Where did he take her?’

‘Not a place where you or anyone else can go. And even if you could make it, who knows if you could find your way back?’” (28)

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