MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from Breath and Bones by Susann Cokal, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Breath and Bones

A Novel

by Susann Cokal

Breath and Bones
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2005, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2006, 400 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Breath and Bones

Susann Cokal

This little book treats of delicate subjects,
and has been sent to you only by request.
It is not intended for indiscriminate reading,
but for your own private information.



Dedication
To three generations of Familjeflickor

           Tove Rasmussen
                        Gunver Hasselbalch
                                   Krishna Cokal
                                               Gry Hasselbalch

Altid med de bedste hensigter.




Beauty like hers is genius.
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Prologue

- Hygeia Springs, or Hygiene: 26.2 miles from the western (narrow gauge) rail terminus at Harmsway, with tracks presently being extended to the village itself. It is halfway up the mountain and so situated as to promote respiratory hygiene and health, with picturesque scenery on every side. The hospital building was erected at a cost of $80,000 and is not equaled by any other such institution in the West; thus for the last half-decade it has rivaled the nearby gold mines in its contributions to the region’s prosperity. The visitor may enjoy the naturally carbonated spring waters or tour the small but none the less distinguished gallery of paintings, privately owned and free to the public on the first Monday of each month. Of several good hotels, the Celestial is the best.

—Frederick E. Shearer, The Pacific Tourist, revised edition, 1892


The cemetery seemed to roll on for miles, its plinths and statues struggling through the folds of a hillside thinly dusted white. A strange situation for a house of art, the widow thought; but these graves, like the mine tailings on the mountain below or the crenellated fortress above, were nothing to her.

Two men met her at the fortress door. One was tall and raw and bony, with a disturbing stripe of pink scalp showing, as if he had been attacked by savages. His hands, also, were knotted with scar tissue, white ridges and mountains straining against the bones beneath. The other man, just slightly shorter, wore silken gloves, as if to say his own hands would do no more work on this earth; from his dark spectacles and blank expression, she surmised that he was blind. She did not ask their names, and they did not need to ask hers. She already knew the tall man, knew he was of her native country. She could speak as she wished, and he would translate.

"We are honored. "The blind man spoke English, but quite clearly. "Thank you for traveling all this way. "

"It was my husband’s wish. "She saw no need to pretend she was glad of it—though she was very glad finally to be unburdening herself of the crate and its contents. "Your drivers are opening the box now. "

The taller man translated for the blind one, then turned back to her.

"Would you like to see where it will hang?" he asked, and she supposed she would.

There were four rooms to the gallery, each one feebly seeping light through narrow windows. The first two were crowded, with pictures hung nearly floor to ceiling and some of the frames knocking against each other.

Excerpted from Breath and Bones© Susann Cokal. Published by Unbridled Books. All rights reserved

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Lost Child
    by Caryl Phillips
    The Lost Child is a modern novel constructed within a historical frame, invoking one of the most ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket
    Bad Country
    by CB McKenzie
    If author CB McKenzie's decidedly noir debut novel Bad Country were chocolate, it would be at ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    If I Forget You
    by Thomas Christopher Greene

    A haunting tale of lost love from the critically acclaimed author of The Headmaster's Wife.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Charmers

The Charmers by Elizabeth Adler

"This tale of romantic suspense makes the perfect beach read."
—Library Journal

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

C To T Q

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.