Thursday, March 5, 2015

Review: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

There's a gap in the cornfields, and if you fall through, you'll find yourself Somewhere Else.

Laura Ruby's Bone Gap is one of the most original books I've read recently, twining together the eerie and the mundane, the past and the present, in a truly haunting medley.

Finn knows beautiful Roza was taken, but he can't tell by whom. His brother Sean, who loved her, can't forgive him for that. Finn determines to find Roza, even as he falls for Petey, the local Bee Girl--called that both for the fact that she raises bees, and for her strange face which entrances Finn, even as others call it ugly.

In the past, Roza leaves her homeland for America, where she encounters a man who will do anything to own her--even pull her out of our world, through the gaps into Somewhere Else.

Weird and dusty and beautiful, Bone Gap was packed with original characters, in an ordinary little town that was anything but, beneath a looming threat as inexorable as a summer storm.

The greatest power of magical realism, in my opinion, is its plausibility: we've all had those moments where we could almost sense something more, just beyond the edges of the known world. This book made excellent use of that, weaving a story out of the ordinary otherworldly magic of cornfields, silvered and rustling in the moonlight... and the all-too-common, terrifying menace of men who would go to any length to possess women they find beautiful.