The first novel from full time florist and part time writer Debbie Howells is one that will capture the imagination of many with its great storyline that slowly unfolds and the brilliant descriptive use of language throughout.
The Bones of You is about a girl named Rosie who at the beginning of the book is missing but it soon transpires to her community that she has been murdered. As readers, we find out Rosie is no longer alive straight away and now she is a presence watching the aftermath of her murder.
The book is told between two people, Rosie herself who gives us her backstory of her childhood before moving onto her mother’s backstory and then recounts of the recent events that lead up to her death. The other voice is of a woman named Kate, she owns the stables that Rosie frequently visits, and she is shocked to hear of the death of such a sweet girl. She is a good character to use as she is an outsider looking into the family, much like ourselves as readers. But she also becomes good friends with Rosie’s mother, Jo, so she gives us an extra insight into the unfurling of events after the murder and during the investigation.
It is a good idea for a novel; taking one popular outlook, the outsider looking in, and the more unique and interesting outlook of the dead girl speaking to us the reader and then merging them together to create a fully rounded story.
However, there are a few moments in the book where I don’t think the writing flows as it should and things get a bit jumpy between encounters but I personally think this is just first novel mistakes that will be easily rectified with the more she writes. I also figured out who the killer was quite early on in the book which made the ending less of a shock or a twist for me.
However, none of the above is in detriment to the novel itself as it is a good read and quite a quick read too. You do get sucked into the short chapters as you want to find out more and more about the troubled family, mix of personalities in the community and what it to come.
I do think this is a very good debut novel from Howells and I can see why it was picked up. Having been compared to the likes of The Lovely Bones, I think it will be a hit with many for its different twist on the crime genre.
Find out more about Debbie Howells by following her on Twitter – @debbie__howells