Title: Bone Gap
Author: Laura Ruby
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: March 3rd, 2015
Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap is a hypnotic blend of magical realism and gripping narrative. Finn O’Sullivan’s life took a unexpected turn when his mother left him in the care of his older brother Sean. But for Finn, losing his mother is nothing in comparison to losing his brother. When Roza miraculously appears in their life, the change in Sean is immediate, but the O’Sullivans happiness is short-lived when Roza is taken by a stranger. Finn’s word holds little merit in a town that has always seen him as a boy whose mind constantly wanders, so when he tells them Roza was kidnapped, no one believes him. Convinced Roza left of her own free will, Finn’s brother Sean and the rest of the town of Bone Gap has moved on. Finn is left to struggle with the guilt of not being able to recall the face of the man that took Roza, his own sense of helplessness, and the growing chasm between him and his brother.
Bone Gap‘s strange and multifaceted setting is full of mysteries that defy rational. The narrative shifts between several characters’ perspectives, but focuses heavily on Finn and the missing Roza. Roza is held captive by a man with the ability to bend the rules of nature. As Roza struggles to understand what her kidnapper wants and how she can escape him, she is kept in world that won’t stop changing. Roza’s kidnapper is terrifying and unnervingly patient, he sees her as something to possess rather than a human being.
Laura Ruby’s novel explores what it means to be beautiful and how one is judge largely by what’s on the surface. For characters like Roza, her own beauty has become a burden, but for Priscilla “Petey” Willis, beauty is something she will never have. Bone Gap juxtaposes a superficial view of beauty with a different kind that doesn’t always require seeing with one’s eyes.