BookBrowse Reviews Bone River by Megan Chance

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Bone River

by Megan Chance

Bone River by Megan Chance
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    Dec 2012, 395 pages

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Bone River is a haunting, lyrical tale of passion and identity.

Megan Chance's Bone River is a top choice among BookBrowse readers. 18 out of 20 reviewers gave it 4 or 5 stars! Here is what they say about this highly regarded book:

I know I'm in for a good read, when the first time I pick up the book I don't put it down until Chapter 6, the second time took me to 10, then 15, and today I finished it. Do I really need to say I really enjoyed it? (Darlene C) I liked Leonie Russell from beginning to end and cheered her struggle to be herself and think for herself against the wishes of both her father and her husband (Joyce S).

Some readers were especially impressed with the depth of Chance's characters, especially the landscape, which was brought vividly to life almost as if it were a character too:

The main cast is small (three men and a woman) but the bays, tides, rivers, oyster beds and rain make place a fifth character…Water carries the several plot lines along nicely, first revealing, then threatening, and finally washing away (Mark O). I became lost in this book right from the start. Though slightly dark, it is a good mix of romance and history with a suspenseful twist. The characters were well written and real and the description of the landscape they lived in was so real that I was cold all the way through the book (Marion T). The author left me wanting to know more about life in the Pacific Northwest in the late 1800's… I can still feel the bite of the rain, the churning of the waves (Helen M). Here is a story in which you actually lose yourself and become one with the characters. As a reader, I floated around like the spirits Leonie dreamed about and needed to know the secrets kept by Leonie's father and her husband Junius. Megan Chance writes with detail and feeling and allows the reader to feel the cold of the storms and waters of the oyster beds (Patricia D).

Other readers were captivated by the rich history - especially that of the Pacific North-west in the mid-19th century - that Chance brings to life:

The writing is beautiful and atmospheric. Throughout the book I felt as though I was there on the Querquelin River. I found the Native American culture interesting and I was sad at how their culture was treated by ethnologists. And I was reminded how hard the life of a woman during this period was (Betty B). Beautifully written, with exquisite detail, this book was engrossing from beginning to end. The background of ethnology in Indian Territory was very informative. Enjoying a book and learning new things is the best of reading for me (Yvette T)! I am from the Pacific Northwest and spent some years living on the Yakima reservation where I enjoyed museums, discussions and classes focusing on Native American culture. Megan Chance caught the slow moving sense of the tribes of the Northwest in the narration of a late thirties female resident of Shoalwater Bay in Washington Territory.The book is a mystery, a love story, and a psychic journey which moves very slowly while the river, the Sound, and the Pacific Northwest, as well as local Native Americans and lastly the mummy all become characters that influence Leonie's discoveries of self. She is a 19th century woman struggling to become who she is "meant to be." I struggled with my rating: should it be 4 or 5? But the pace of the novel, which bothered me when I wanted to move fast, did what studies of Native American cultures has done for me also. One must slow down and listen to find one's own truth (Janet P).

Some readers thought the story was a little slow to start, but don't give up on it!

I was frustrated at the slow pace of the character development…[but] I enjoyed learning about the superstitions and beliefs of the Native American people (Amy H). Although the story got off to a slow start, it wasn't long before I was completely engrossed…I thoroughly enjoyed Bone River and found myself rooting for Leonie to find not only the identity of the Indian woman, but her own in the process (Priscilla M).

Who should read this book?:

Bone River has something for everyone who likes a great read. History, love and betrayal, mysticism and mystery. Beautifully written with an intricate plot, I cannot recommend it enough. I gave it a five, but I wanted to give it a 6 (Carole P)! This is a wonderful story about a strong and resilient woman. I would recommend this book to my friends (Lillian D).

This review is from the January 9, 2013 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.



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