Bone by Bone is Sanjida Kay’s debut novel, I found it to be one of the most compelling books I have read in a long time, but also the most disturbing. Laura recently separated from her husband, moves to Bristol to start a new life with her nine year old daughter Autumn. It’s not long before Autumn becomes the target of bullies, as the bullying escalates Laura makes a terrible choice. A choice that will have devastating consequences for her and her daughter. As a parent whose son was relentlessly bullied for two years, I have been wanting to read this book for a while now, but at the same time I was concerned that it would bring back very painful memories, so I started reading Bone by Bone with a great deal of trepidation.
Unless you have been in a similar situation it’s difficult to imagine the nightmare parents go through and the emotions they feel, when trying to protect their child. The author manages to portray Laura’s feelings of helplessness with such accuracy it reminded me of the feelings both my husband and myself felt when our child was being bullied. To see your son go from an outgoing, happy and fun loving person into a shell of themselves is heartbreaking to say the least, the author manages to portray every feeling and emotion with such clarity I felt I was reading about myself! The frustration, heartbreak and anger that Laura felt were tangible throughout.
My heart broke for Autumn as the relentless bullying escalated and she struggled to cope emotionally, the author explores the subject of bullying with chilling realism which made for an uncomfortable read at times. It was interesting to see how far Laura would go to protect Autumn, as being in a similar situation we found ourself getting to the stage that we would have done anything to protect our son. Bone by Bone highlights how victims of bullying and their families are often failed by schools, the police and other services, making for a very credible and upsetting read.
Sanjida Kay brings Bone by Bone to a satisfying conclusion, which she does with sensitivity and a great deal of compassion. This is such an emotive book as it explores with chilling realism bullying and how helpless parents feel, it is written with such conviction and understanding it made me wonder if the author herself had faced similar problems. I found it difficult to believe that this was the authors debut novel, and I will certainly be pre-ordering her next book.
5 ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ out of 5
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Corvus; Main edition (3 Mar. 2016)