I have to admit when I first started this book I wasn’t too keen at all, but once I adjusted to the slow pace, I was hooked! All that despite some supernatural elements which would normally have me closing the book in disbelief.
One day Kate, mother to Grace, gets a phone call that Rosie Anderson has gone missing. Eighteen year old Rosie is nowhere near as socially confident as Grace and in the small Sussex town everyone hopes that she will return home unharmed.
Told from Kate’s and Rosie’s perspectives this book is a slow-burner but no less gripping for that. Kate has got to know Rosie as she was keen on Kate’s horses and she befriends her mother Jo through the search for Rosie.
Before Rosie’s disappearance Jo and Neale appeared to have an enviable life. A large house decorated to perfection with a garden to match and two beautiful daughter’s polite and well-behaved. This is a look at behind those closed doors with Rosie’s narrative giving away incidents that show her life was far from perfect. Neale is a renowned journalist while Jo seems a little more fragile, no wonder why when we hear the truth from Rosie.
Kate is keen to help Jo out but her husband Angus points out that she shouldn’t get too involved, particularly as Rosie’s younger sister, Della needs support while her mother is increasingly absent from her life. Kate is aware that Jo is not being as open with her as she could be, but is frightened to push her new friend to confront the reality. And then Kate starts receiving anonymous notes that seem to relate to Rosie – Who has posted them, and why?
This isn’t a crime fiction novel, the police are kept firmly in the background on an occasional advisory capacity, rather, it is a look at the structure of a family, one that at its heart, is nothing like the face that they present to the wider world. Dark and nasty things are afoot and it takes Rosie’s narrative to flush them out. At the same time we get to see behind Kate’s front door, is her marriage to Angus as strong and secure as she believes? How will Grace’s departure to university change her life, can she cope particularly with the tragedy hanging over the town. She finds solace in her horses and fills her days with her gardening job, meeting up with the boy who may, or may not, have been Rosie’s boyfriend at the nursery. The rumours are swirling round and so when old friend of Kate’s wants to write a piece about Rosie and her family, Kate is torn between revealing what she knows and wanting to preserve the family’s privacy.
Although the pacing is steady without the showy twists and turns that the more brash books of this genre display, the mystery anchors the book and there are a number of possible answers. By the last third of this book I had a pretty good idea of what had happened but I was enjoying the ride so much that even if I wasn’t waiting to find out if I was right, I’d still have been turning the pages as eagerly.
I’d like to thank Kensington Books for allowing me to read this expertly told tale in return for my review. The Bones of You is due to be published on 30 June 2015.