The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

The Bones of You by Debbie HowellThe Bones of You is a beautifully written novel which tells the story of teenager Rosie’s murder and the ensuing events that follow…

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.
The novel flicks between two main narrators – Kate, a mother with a daughter of a similar age to Rosie, and Rosie herself, seemingly speaking from the afterlife. However Rosie actually presents some of the story from Joanna’s point of view, describing her early life and meeting her husband and then their life together before Rosie was born and when she was a little girl. The story also occasionally presents Delphine’s point of view, but only once or twice. This way you get a range of opinions and thoughts, and the reader starts to see that all is certainly not as it seems.
This is a story primarily surrounding a murder, but it’s definitely not a crime novel in my opinion. The novel focuses more on Kate and her family, firstly as an acquaintance and then a close friend of Joanna, and the family of Rosie as they deal with the aftermath.
The characters are all well developed, but some are quite mysterious and I didn’t know what to make of them- this was definitely intentional, and added to the enigma surrounding Rosie’s family. For example Joanna has definitely had a very hard life with her husband, and we don’t know how much of what she is saying is trying to conceal a less-than-perfect family life.
Though The Bones Of You may not be a fast paced story, it packs an impressive punch and kept me wondering until the end. It’s an enjoyable, intriguing story of trust and secrets which I’d highly recommend.
Rating: 4/5
Have you read The Bones Of Us? What did you think?
Many thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC of this novel in return for an honest review.


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