During a couple of breezy evenings, which fell blessedly on the
heels of warm, sunny days, in my outdoor swing, surrounded by the
sights and sounds of urban nature, I fell under the delightful spell
of Laura Ruby's Bone Gap. It's like a YA fairy tale, combining a
vivid world that is part real, part fantasy with a genuine
understanding of human nature to reach a profound and slightly
Sean and Finn O'Sullivan are brothers. Finn is considered
strange and moony by the denizens of Bone Gap. Older brother, Sean,
has been his caretaker since their mother decided her boys were old
enough to fend for themselves and moved to Oregon with a orthodontist
who didn't like kids. He's an EMT who has had to put med school plans
Roza is an exchange student from Poland who showed up in their
barn one day, battered but not wanting to go to the hospital or see a
doctor. They invited her to stay in a small unused apartment in their
house. She quickly won their hearts over with her way of being and
Priscilla, who prefers to be called Petey, is an outspoken,
liberated daughter of beekeeper, Mel, following capably in her
mother's footsteps. The Bone Gap citizens consider to have a smoking
body but the face of one of her charges. Only someone as spaced out
as Finn would fall for--or use her to get what he desires.
Actually the town of Bone Gap is every bit as much of a
character as any of its inhabitants. It's a place where people are up
in everyone else's business and "know" more than they actually know
about their neighbors, rumor and speculation carrying equal weight
with fact. It's also a place where a prize horse can appear in a barn
out of nowhere and seamlessly carry one to what seem to be alternative
universes or places where fairy tales (unDisneyized ones) are more
than fodder for children's bedtime stories.
When Roza disappears, the town decides she left the brothers.
Didn't their own mother abandon them? Why should she be any
different? Sean assumes that she is gone for good. Only Finn is sure
she has been abducted against her own will. He will do whatever it
takes to find her and bring her back.
This beautifully crafted story with its gripping plot and
colorful characters has a powerful underlying message: how well do we
really perceive those around us?
On a personal note, I am super excited. Today I am going to Castine
with my friend Amy. I miss the ocean so much! We are going to see
the arrival of a tall ship and stick around for the fireworks. I
A great big shout out goes out to those who continue to go down to the
sea in ships. Can you tell I grew up near Gloucester, Massachusetts?
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod