BOOK REVIEW: The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

I have a gardener's inherent belief in the natural order of things. Soft-petalled flowers that go to seed. The resolute passage of the seasons. Children who don't die before their parents.
A community in shock.
When eighteen-year-old Rosie Anderson disappears, life in the idyllic village where she grew up is never the same again.
A family torn apart.
Rosie was beautiful, kind and gentle. She came from a loving family  and had her while life ahead of her. Who could possibly want to harm her and why?
A keeper of secrets.
Kate is a friend of the family, and she's certain someone in the village knows more than they're letting on. As the investigation deepens, so does Kate's obsession with solving the mystery of what happened to Rosie.

Publisher: Pan Books
Pages: 342

The Bones of You is Debbie Howell's debut novel and it is fantastic. I was captivated from the very first page and drawn into the dark twists and turns that the plot took.
Kate,  a gardener lives in a small community that is rocked by the murder of eighteen-year-old Rosie Anderson. A bright and kind girl, Kate cannot believe that somebody would harm her.
Kate is a friend of the Andersons, she tries to help Rosie's mother Jo through her grief but she slowly begins to realise that you never know what goes on behind closed doors and the Andersons are not as perfect as they seem. Kate is determined to find out what happened to Rosie, no matter how much danger that puts her in.
Debbie Howells flits between the narrators, the main one being Kate, followed by Rosie and then vert occasionally Delphine, Rosie's younger sister. The chapters narrated by Rosie are haunting and dark, some made for very uncomfortable reading but they well done. I just wanted to hold this tragic character and protect her from all she has endured. Kate is the embodiment of that, and it's like she knew she knows there was more going on with Rosie  and she wants to do the right thing for her.
Jo and Neal Anderson are extremely complex characters and I thought that the author's portrayal of them was excellent. The Bones of You deals with secrets and deception and it really makes you think about the many facades that people put up.
I think that Debbie Howells got the pace of the book just right, each time I got to the end of a chapter I just wanted more. I wanted my questions answered and my suspicions investigated.
Debbie Howells has offered us a startling debut and I am so excited to see what comes next from this brilliant author.


Nadia A said...

I enjoyed this one, too. It was so good! I loved trying to piece together what happened to her and who was responsible. Such a fun read! Glad you enjoyed it :)

Dot said...

So glad you enjoyed it too Nadia, I hope that Debbie Howells writes another one!

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