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The Ribs and Thigh Bones of Desire

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  380 ratings  ·  57 reviews
It’s the summer of 1977 in a small town in Western Massachusetts. Physics professor David Asken has just lost his young family in a plane crash he somehow survived. Sixteen-year-old neighbor Molly Carmichael used to be the babysitter, but now will be keeping house for him while he recuperates. He’s quietly planning to end his life just as soon as he can drive again, but ...more
Paperback, 410 pages
Published November 29th 2014 by Sheer Hubris Press
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  380 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Funny, dark, and utterly brilliant: this UNromance is a most original coming-of-age story

It's the 1970s in suburban America and the stage is set for the sort of story that, in a lesser writer's hands, would usually make me fling my e-reader across the room. David is a 30-something physics professor traumatized by the recent loss of his wife and daughter in a plane crash. Molly is his 16-yr-old babysitter set on a collision course with a world far less innocent than she imagines.

But this is no
Tabitha Vohn
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Love is a slow burn for Molly & David in this enthralling, realistic portrait of choices in a time of change. It explores complex issues such as grief, sexual abuse, and the turmoil of wanting someone you're not supposed to have. Also, it presents the reader with a profound look at the parent/child relationship in (albeit) extreme situations, ones which the average reader can readily sympathize (if not identify) with.

There's a lot to love about this novel but, without inundating you with
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the The Awful Mess by Sandra Hutchinson some time ago and enjoyed is so much I asked her when she would be writing another book. She wasn't too sure at that time. Months went by and I contacted her again. So I was surprised when she contacted me to say "Sue, would you like to read my new book". I was delighted.

I've had quite a few things happen in my personal life which has meant many authors awaiting a review from me and Sandra Hutchinson has been waiting several weeks. I have finally
Julie Failla Earhart
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have to admit that I didn’t pay much attention to the title of this book when I entered the Shelf Awareness newsletter contest; I was more captivated with the story and the cover. I kinda cringed when it arrived in the mail; seemed a little too much erotica for me. But, luckily, the story lived up to, and exceeded my expectations.
The story opens with David Asken and his family returning from their family vacation at Walt Disney World. David hates to fly, that obvious with the first sentence: “
I'm a little OK with missing most of the 70's

I knew nothing of this book or the author when I decided to read it. I gravitated toward the title like one usually does to an amazing cover, the title was familiar, edgy, and as I read the book I realised why. David loses his family in a plane crash! Wow, just like that right in the beginning - huge tragedy. This author isn't done toying with our emotions. The shock factor stays on an orangey alert throughout the whole story. There are some pretty
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy from the author via Shelf Awareness in order to review.

As I glanced through other reviews, someone mentioned "funny". I don't think I found much in this book that I consider funny. All the characters are tortured in some way. Molly, the sixteen year old with an artist mother whose art embarrasses her, is tasked with the job of caring for her neighbor after his family is killed in a plane crash.

The description of this book is a bit heavy on a sexual relationship between the
ʙᴇʟʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.
Trigger warning: contains (view spoiler)
So, well I'm kinda speechless at the moment. I wasnt honestly expecting all these taboo themes in one single book. I really liked David, and I really liked Molly. But it broke me to see these two traumatized people and their unfortunate lives. You cant help but want to see them together but at the same time you wish they dont because they are so much broken already. And everything feels right, but feels wrong at
gabbie valles
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started this book during a "reading slump" and to be very honest it has brought back my desire to read regularly. I am very pleased with the storyline and how Hutchison used every character in the ways that she did. The ending was left open but I'm not necessarily mad at it. If there was a second to this book I'd love to read it immediately. Thanks Sandra Hutchison for a novel that could be very difficult for some to swallow, but written in a way that can easily make the reader understanding ...more
Dawn Combs
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly great surprise!

I know its a good book when I can't put it down. The perfect mix of tragedy, personality, and all the other elements of a good story. This author has talent. Ilk be looking for more of her work.
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

This is not the second book I expected from this author. Her first book was a romance and THIS was not THAT. Her first book had much levity, and an irreverent air to it. This book did not indulge in anything as mundane as irreverence. Her first book wrapped up tidily. This book ended in full-throttle ambiguity.

But by all means, do not let my proceeding paragraph dissuade you from reading this book! Just make sure you have a minimum of two days to devote to nothing but reading because like
Mary Maddox
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A coming-of-age novel set in America in the late 70s, Sandra Hutchison's The Ribs and Thigh Bones of Desire centers on the relationship between David, a physics professor in his 30s, and Molly, the teenage girl who used to babysit his daughter. Molly doesn't babysit for David anymore because his wife and daughter recently perished in a plane crash. He is too overwhelmed by grief to take care of himself, so his estranged sister hires Molly to keep house for him.

Molly has problems of her own. Her
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, read-2015
The reasons people read fiction and what they expect or hope to get from the experience varies, not only from reader to reader, but sometimes from book to book. For some, it is purely entertainment or vicarious experience of some kind. Others want something deeper whether it be a message, a thought-provoking story, or a trigger to consider the world and their place in it. A good story will work on both levels, entertaining all readers while providing grist for the mill to those who are looking ...more
Vivian Muia
This is one of the realest books I have ever read. The pain, the characters, the story itself are so real it hurts. And it does hurt, because this isn't a tale about simply finding love. It's a tragic story about making a choice out of bad options.

At first, I thought the character of Cassandra was a little unrealistic. But I concede that there are some people --- some parents --- in the world like her.

The worst thing about this book was the language. Whereas it, too, was mostly --- and painfully
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You have to read this book... it's fantastic. A coming of age story for a high schooler wise and mature beyond her years and finally, by the end, able to find her own voice, take a stand for herself, and look ahead to her future shining bright before her.

Molly is a plain and unobtrusive teen, overshadowed by her talented mother's artwork. Molly babysits for their neighbors, David and Elaine's little girl Emily, but when Elaine and Emily are killed in an accident, Molly is hired to be David's
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Well written if not a “comfortable” read at Christmas time because of the edgy language and behavior of the teenagers, the peers - not really the friends- of one of the protagonists. Her mother, whose sculptures exploit her daughter’s biological coming of age, is not immediately sympathetic, either, nor is she in her daughter's view. The other protagonist is a broken man, having lost his wife and young daughter in a plane crash, fears he may have failed to save them, and reads in his wife’s ...more
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This book ended up totally not being what I expected, but that being said, I did really enjoy. The story goes back and forth between 17 year Molly who has a humiliating mother and 33 year old David Asken who is a professor who just lost his wife and young daughter in a car accident. Molly was David's child's babysitter, and when his family perishes, she essentially becomes his babysitter. I completely forgot throughout the book (until the mention of a cassette player) that this took place in ...more
S.M. Freedman
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic read from start to finish. The characters were completely real and compelling, their circumstances so tragic, so real, so heart-wrenching. Ms. Hutchison tackles complex characters and stories with a beautiful simplicity. It's rare that a story captivates me so deeply, but David and especially Molly will live with me forever.
Why no voting buttons? We don't let customers vote on their own reviews, so the voting buttons appear only when you look at reviews submitted by others.
Ronald Keeler
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
The Ribs and Thigh Bones of Desire by Sandra Hutchison is an excellent character-driven novel with a controversial and possibly disturbing theme for some readers. It will be difficult to read for survivors of violence both intentional and accidental; it could be difficult to read for their relatives. This is not a trigger warning, there is no need for one. There is no overtly offensive sexual language although there are frank depictions of sexual suggestiveness as some characters debate the ...more
James Williams
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent and Moving

One of the more challenging objectives a writer faces is developing characters who are genuine while still managing to use them to convey to readers some of the eternal verities of the human experience. Hutchison delivers in spades with this book. The main characters are drawn in such fine detail that I felt as though I knew them. At times, they made me laugh; at times, they made me so frustrated—especially David—that I wanted to slap them silly for being such idiots . . .in
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was emotional, disturbing and effected me deeply. It was more than I had expected. There were no funny moments. A professor survived a fiery plane crash, but his wife and little girl did not. He is racked with guilt and becomes suicidal. His child's teenaged babysitter takes on the job as his housekeeper while he recovers. The teen has problems, too, including surprises about her eccentric mother's sexuality and curiosity about her own. Chapters alternate between the teen's and the ...more
Mark Smith
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting treatment of a delicate subject

Warning:subject matters maybe too much for some readers.spoiler warning:after a traumatic event separate s David from his pregnant wife and young daughter,he has to try to navigate Hus way back with the help of his next door neighbor molly,who used to babysit his daughter....
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So good

I rarely write reviews but I so enjoyed this book I felt I should. The characters are so real and the actual story line kept me intrigued from the first line, will they or won't they. It was a powerful and thought provoking book, and I am truly sad to have finished it. I now cannot wait to read more of Ms Hutchison's books.
Pamela Faust
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written and thought provoking
Kim Hamilton
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Wow ! I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel.
It surely will grab you and make you take notice.
Kirk Alter
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really didn't know what to expect when I cracked this book open. Obviously the title gives a small hint that this book won't be a light chick read.

David the local physics professor survives a plane crash but loses his wife and daughter, he can't remember anything of the actual crash which is really disturbing to him. He just wants to end his life and soon.

His sister hires Molly (who used to baby sit his daughter Emily) to make sure the casseroles left at the door are heated and that David eats
Leah (White Sky Project)
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
David survives a plane crash that killed his wife and daughter. Molly, his next door neighbor and his daughter’s babysitter, is hired by his sister to be his housekeeper. Like most survivors, David is struggling with guilt and is even contemplating suicide. Molly, aside from dealing with the grief over the death of David’s daughter Emily, is dealing with issues of her own – one of them being the daughter of a sexually uninhibited artist. The title of this book would probably make you think this ...more
Steve Vernon
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Do you remember when you were growing up and you lived in constant blithering terror that your Mom or your Dad - or worse yet both of them tag-teaming up together - were going to catch hold of your ear and have that long old talk with you.

You know the talk that I am talking about.

THE talk.

Face it.

You would rather stuff your ears full of flaming worm boogers than to hear your Mom and Dad talk to you about all of that stuff that you had already figured out - but what you did not figure out is that
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Fringe Fiction: The Ribs & Thigh Bones of Desire by Sandra Hutchison 1 9 Oct 23, 2015 07:17AM  

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Born and raised in the Tampa Bay area, Sandra Hutchison survived her parents' move to the small town of Greenfield, Massachusetts one snowy winter and eventually stopped sulking about it, though it's possible she's still working it out in her fiction. She lives in upstate New York, where she writes and also teaches writing at Hudson Valley Community College.

A former high school teacher,
“Some people in town were rallying behind these “hometown boys” who had “their whole futures ahead of them.” 0 likes
“Such a murky pea soup of people. Shapes darting and bumping about in a sea of social noise.” 0 likes
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