This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Susan Lobban
When Laura and Autumn move to an idyllic little village it seems like the perfect new start. However it is not long before they find that newcomers are not always welcome. Autumn against all her best efforts is trying to fit in at school, but older boy, Levi is making every day more difficult than the last. When Laura finds out her daughter is being bullied she rightly goes straight to the school again and again. With her worries seemingly falling on deaf ears, finding her daughter surrounded on her way home from school is the last straw and Laura is pushed too far. Every mother wants to step in harms way for their children but it doesn't always mean they should.
The book opens in an eerily quiet woodland setting with a mother searching for her lost daughter. However just like any walk through the woods the way you set off is not always where you end up. The prologue suggests a mysterious thriller when in fact what is up ahead is a dark and at times disturbing drama. We are introduced to Laura and Autumn, who have a close mother and daughter relationship until a term at a new school begins. My heart broke for Autumn as she struggled to make friends and failed to impress her new teacher. The fact that almost overnight the girl went from typical nine year old to being considered babyish, all because of a change of classmates was incredibly realistic. Then combined with her ever declining self confidence, older boy Levi is determined to chip away at whatever is left of her once happy demeanour. The vivid descriptions of the bully's actions make the reader feel like a witness unfortunately unable to do anything to help.
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Laura thinks she is helping when she goes to the school to complain but ends up feeling more like a hindrance when the class teacher brushes off her concerns. Powerless to do much else Laura even begins to doubt the seriousness of the situation that is until she finds Autumn in the woods surrounded by older boys with Levi as the ringleader. Enough is enough and Laura confronts the boys but then the situation takes a turn for the worse and she is going to be the one in trouble. As with Autumn I felt great sympathy toward Laura, because she really deserved to be listened to and was trying her very best, but literally everyone was against her.
Bone by Bone poses a serious moral dilemma that any parent could face and whether the reader has children or not an opinion will form in their head as the chapters progress. In this way I was reminded of Jodi Picoult's books however Sanjida Kay's writing is of a faster pace as one snap decision sends Laura's life spiralling out of control. I can't wait to see what this debut author comes up with next.
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