tassara ・゚✧'s Reviews > The Bone People

The Bone People by Keri Hulme
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2022-popsugar, literary, magical-realism, bipoc-author

4.0 out of 5 stars. Read for Prompt #15 of ・゚✧ my 2022 reading challenge ✧゚・: A book by a Pacific Islander author.

To care for anything deeply is to invite disaster.

this is one hell of a book.

i don't know if i can fully articulate what this reading experience was like just yet -- i finished this yesterday and i'm still trying to wrap my brain around everything i read.

the writing is evocative without being too flowery. it's quirky without being unintelligible. the themes of culture, identity, tradition, and family are rich and brilliantly explored. although i am admittedly ignorant of much of the māori culture, i was able to learn and understand and empathize with the internal cultural battle raging inside each of our characters. and speaking of the characters, i can't recall the last time i read such a character arc that was so complete, so earned. our protagonists try -- and often fail -- to grow and learn from their pasts, but eventually, begrudgingly, they are able to carve a path forward for themselves. the only reason i cannot give this book five stars is because -- despite how much the characters grew and learned -- i do not think they deserved the ending they got.

🚨 major content warning for child abuse and, for my animal pals: there are some pretty detailed descriptions of the catching, killing, and "preparing" of fish. please, please, please, take care of yourself if you pick this one up. it's not an easy one. 🚨

full review might be coming if i can articulate a coherent thought about the impact this book had on me.

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Reading Progress

December 2, 2021 – Shelved
January 19, 2022 – Started Reading
January 19, 2022 –
page 93
20.67% ""I am the moon’s sister, a tidal child stranded on land. The sea always in my ear, a surf of eternal discontent in my blood.""
January 24, 2022 –
page 202
44.89% ""it's a bloody kind of love that has violence as a silent partner.""
January 26, 2022 –
page 275
61.11% ""Hands are sacred things. Touch is personal, fingers of love, feelers of blind eyes, tongues of those who cannot talk...""
January 28, 2022 –
page 391
86.89% ""The dead return as voices and dreams quite often. Sometimes, there are very good reasons for their persistence in our world. Sometimes, we have failed them.""
January 29, 2022 – Finished Reading

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