Set in the secretive and mysterious Midwestern town of Bone Gap, author and professor Laura Ruby’s eighth novel captures the darkness and light of a small town where seemingly magical occurrences ensnare its citizens.
Bone Gap creates a world unto itself, in which readers slowly unpeel the disparate but simultaneously interconnected stories of the townsfolk who call it home. We hear from such voices as weird high-school senior Finn O’Sullivan—better known as “Moonface” by the townies for his tendency to space out—who is able to read people and offer intimate, uncanny insights into their quiet lives. Sean, Finn’s paramedic older brother and town heartthrob, is loved by nearly all of Bone Gap, even if they choose to acknowledge only part of his story. The brothers live in a sort of hovering stasis with the rest of Bone Gap until the gorgeous, damaged and strong-willed Roza wanders into town and changes everything. But when she is suddenly abducted by an unknown man, and Finn, the only witness, is unable to identify her abductor, all the cracks in Bone Gap start to widen, revealing the truths behind this idyllic small-town life.
Ruby flexes her narrative muscles with Bone Gap, blending mystery, romance and magical realism. Her mixing of styles mirrors the lives of her characters, with parts and pieces of different experiences making up only part of the story’s whole.
Justin Barisich is a freelancer, satirist, poet and performer living in Atlanta. More of his writing can be found at littlewritingman.com.