Finn O’Sullivan lives in Bone Gap with his brother Sean. All Finn wants to do is get out of Bone Gap, the town where people call him Moonface, Spaceman, and Sidetrack; the town that believes he had something to do with beautiful Roza’s disappearance; the town where no one believes he saw Roza being kidnapped. But Finn knows what he saw and he knows Roza didn’t want to go with the man who moved like a cornstalk in the wind. This novel takes place over a summer, a summer where friendships are strengthened, where Finn falls in love with tough girl Petey, and where Finn vows to find out what happened to Roza.
I’ve heard this book described as magical-realism. There are parts of this book that can be considered magical. Fairytale and mythological elements are woven into the story. A strange black horse appears out of nowhere in the O’Sullivan’s barn – a horse that can fly and jump across wide gullies. More than one person makes a mention of the corn talking.
But the story focuses a lot on everyday themes as well, and one of the main themes of the book is perception – how we view ourselves and the people around us, how others view us, and how people’s perceptions of ourselves shape how we are.
Both Roza and Petey deal with the burdens and repercussions of beauty. Roza has the burden of being beautiful and because she is so beautiful, she never knows if people are being honest with her. No one believes Finn when he states that Roza was kidnapped because everyone believes Finn was in love with Roza because of her beauty. However it is Petey that Finn loves even though Petey, and the whole town, don’t possibly believe that Finn could love her because Petey is ugly.
Finn is an interesting character as well. He’s a teenager just trying to figure out where he belongs and who he is. He’s trying to mend his relationship with his brother while keeping out of the way of the boys who like to beat him up.
I liked this book. I found the characters interesting and thought both Roza and Petey were strong individual females that could hold their own. There were a couple of surprises and things I was not expecting but still, an enjoyable read.