Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?
Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.
As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.
Author: Laura Ruby
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Bone Gap is an intelligent read that has very interesting themes. It was a little hard for me to get into in the beginning, but by the end, I was in its spell.
Laura Ruby is a fantastic writer. Her writing is poetic and atmospheric, and she conveys this gorgeous, dreamy atmosphere. There is a lot of depth to her writing, and if you're a fan of Nova Ren Suma in particular, I believe Bone Gap is a perfect match. (Nova Ren Suma is like Maggie Stiefvater but she blurs the lines between magic and reality more.) Imagining Bone Gap, a small town surrounded by fields of corn, came easily to me. So, if you're a fan of beautiful writing, Bone Gap will work.
The plot took some time to explain, and it's one of those stories that will never be straightforward. There will not be an explanation as to the what, how, and who of everything. This story feasts on feelings, and it relies on the reader being so hooked on this dreamy atmosphere that they realize that the logistics don't matter. You need to be open to metaphors and forgetting the literal.
My interpretation of Bone Gap was that it was a story about beauty. Roza is kidnapped because she is beautiful. This is not the first terrible thing to happen to Roza because she is pretty. People seem to assume that being beautiful is easy, and Bone Gap is quite dark in explaining the harassment Roza has faced her entire life. She is viewed as an object, and the only value people assign to her is physical. She is gorgeous, and everyone can see that, but she isn't truly seen for who she is.
Finn is interesting in comparison to Roza because he is also considered to be gorgeous, but the difference in how a beautiful man is treated versus the treatment of a beautiful woman is stark. At worst, Finn is objectified and adored from afar. He is never threatened, and girls think he is beautiful, but others don't define him solely based on his appearance, as they do Roza. This dynamic fascinated me, especially when you take in that the side characters, Sean and Priscilla, are not considered to be stunning and are also dealing with their insecurities.
The exploration of this theme is what solidified my enjoyment of Bone Gap. It was extremely well done, and I don't often read books that explore a theme so thoroughly, yet enjoyably.It gives Bone Gap a literary quality, but it also sets it apart. Some books are great because of the setting, the plot, or the characters. Very few books are great because they explore themes. I don't think this is the only way to read Bone Gap, but this was what drove the story, in my opinion.