REVIEW: BONE BY BONE BY SANJIDA KAY

Due to time restraints while I work on my own novel, reviews on this site will now comprise a book blurb and a short response.

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I love a good psychological suspense novel, especially edge-of-the-seat stories. Bone By Bone by Sanjida Kay hooked me so deeply, I read it in one sitting. Here’s the blurb:

Laura is making a fresh start. Newly divorced and relocated to Bristol, she is carving a new life for her and her nine-year-old daughter, Autumn. But things aren’t going as well as she hoped. Autumn is unsettled, and her sweet nature and artistic bent are making her a target for bullies. When Autumn fails to return home from school one day Laura goes looking for her and happens upon a crowd of bullies taunting her little girl. Rage overcomes Laura and spills into violence. Consequences are bound to ensue. But Laura can not anticipate just what those consequences will be, and just how much worse things can become

Gripping? Hell yes. The short chapters in Bone by Bone, which alternated between Laura and Autumn’s viewpoints, kept me turning pages until I got to that point where I could not stop reading and wait until the next day. No, this was a curl up, read all afternoon book, preferably with nibbles close at hand to save the fingernails.

As a mother, I could completely relate to Laura’s feelings when she heard her daughter was being bullied – a mix of rage, fear, protectiveness, helplessness, frustration and determination. It was refreshing to have Autumn’s viewpoint included, with her fears that her mother’s drive to protect her was only making things worse. Kay shines an unnerving spotlight on how insidious bullying can be, at all ages. The efforts some will go to manipulate others is chilling.

At times, my heart was in my throat, full of sadness and sympathy for this family, and at others, I was cringing, knowing that Laura was making a mistake. I did predict some of the twists, but the ending caught me by surprise and left me feeling somewhat sorry for one of the bullies. A fantastic debut.

Available from good bookstores (RRP $29.99AUD). My copy was courtesy of Allen & Unwin.