Must Read Monday (38): Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life & Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap
Welcome to another edition of Must Read Monday!
This feature is where I spotlight older, recent, or upcoming releases I am looking forward to. The lists will include all genres I like to read, everything from picture books to comics, children’s lit to adult fiction!
This week’s theme is the 2015 National Book Awards! First up is a finalist in the adult fiction category: Hanya Yanagihara’s critically-lauded A Little Life. I cannot say much about this stellar novel that hasn’t already been said (just take a look here at how many best-of lists it has been on)! Library colleagues have mentioned how tremendous Yanagihara’s writing is- and just how staggeringly sad and complex this novel is. In all honesty, I’m a bit terrified to dive in (given what I’ve heard and read and how high my expectations are), but it is one of my MUSTS (and a reading challenge) of the year. Second up is a finalist in the young adult category: Laura Ruby’s excellently-reviewed Bone Gap. I have not had a chance to read anything previously by Laura Ruby; though after reading starred reviews from Kirkus, VOYA and Publisher’s Weekly Bone Gap immediately went on my TBR. This is another title I have heard great praise about from colleagues and trusted reviewers: Bone Gap sounds wonderful and wonderfully strange, and I think it will make for memorable reading.
When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.
Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps— gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?
Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.
As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.