Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ARC Review ~ The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: Debbie Howells
Available Formats: eBook, Hardback
Publisher: Kensignton Publishing 
Publication Date: 06-30-15                         Pages: 320
Purchase ~ Amazon                             Add ~ Goodreads
A stunning, wonderfully assured psychological thriller that evokes Gillian Flynn and Alice Sebold, The Bones of You revolves around a young girl’s murder and one woman’s obsession with uncovering the secrets in an idyllic English village.

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. Swallows that fly thousands of miles to follow the eternal summer.

Children who don’t die before their parents.

When Kate receives a phone call with news that Rosie Anderson is missing, she’s stunned and disturbed. Rosie is eighteen, the same age as Kate’s daughter, and a beautiful, quiet, and kind young woman. Though the locals are optimistic—girls like Rosie don’t get into real trouble—Kate’s sense of foreboding is confirmed when Rosie is found fatally beaten and stabbed.

Who would kill the perfect daughter, from the perfect family? Yet the more Kate entwines herself with the Andersons—graceful mother Jo, renowned journalist father Neal, watchful younger sister Delphine—the more she is convinced that not everything is as it seems. Anonymous notes arrive, urging Kate to unravel the tangled threads of Rosie’s life and death, though she has no idea where they will lead.

Weaving flashbacks from Rosie’s perspective into a tautly plotted narrative, The Bones of You is a gripping, haunting novel of sacrifices and lies, desperation and love

My So-Called Review:
The Bones of You is the perfect example of the type of psychological thriller that I love. The focus in this story isn’t just on the crime that was committed but the inner workings of a family. Debbie Howells explores and exposes every layer of this family, slowly pulling back each layer until every last possible secret is exposed. What’s even more beautiful is that she does this through the eyes of two very unique narrators. There’s Kate, who’s a neighbor and someone who befriended Rosie when she was alive through their mutual love of horses. Kate has now befriended Rosie’s mother Jo, offering support in her time of grief. Our second narrator is Rosie herself, after she dies she seems to go on a journey of sorts, revisiting certain moments of her life and often times seeing them now in a new light. This brought a wonderful, fascinating look into this messed up family. Through Rosie’s eyes you get to feel like a fly on the wall, eavesdropping into some seriously private, disturbing moments.

“…I’m the moth who sees the flame too late, leaving my wings charred and my body lifeless. Like everything that went before, it was written into the small print of my life, meaning whatever happened, wherever I was, there never was any other way”

It’s hard to believe this is Debbie Howells debut novel, the writing throughout the story wonderful. Rosie’s chapters especially, they had this poetic, dreamlike essence to them that I found extremely emotional as well as addicting. I must say that Rosie was definitely my favorite part of this story and what will make The Bones of You stand apart from other novels of a similar type. This doesn’t mean however that our second narrator, Kate isn’t as well written or compelling because she is. I adored Kate, she so badly just wanted to help and to believe in the goodness of people. I know to some reviews she came across as naïve and unbelievable but I actually related to her a lot and understood her choices and her wanting to believe what she was being told, no matter how far-fetched.

This is not a fast paced, edge of your seat type thriller so if this is the only type you enjoy then The Bones of You may not be a good fit for you. But if you enjoy slow, tension filled plots that can be found in books such as The Lovely Bones and in TV shows like The Killing then I would highly recommend this to you! There are several dark themes running throughout such as abuse, both mental and physical, but they are handled well and with sensitivity. This is the type of book my personal book club enjoys therefore I’m also adding this as a great Book Club recommendation. Thank you to Debbie Howells for writing such a beautiful, engaging story intertwined with a shocking mystery, I look forward to reading your next novel!

Thank you to publishers, Kensington Books and to NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary, advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!


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