Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Feeling For Bones by Bethany Pierce

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I enjoy books by my favorite authors, but sometimes I just want something different. Something that might be a little off the radar, that might be a new discovery.

Bethany Pierce's debut novel is an intriguing look at a young girl's struggle with outer beauty versus inner beauty. It is a struggle women of all ages and in all walks of life encounter, and is especially relevant in today's visual culture.

Olivia's pastor father has just lost his job, the family is moving and no one is sure of how these changes are going to turn out. Her parents' marriage is shaky, her little sister is afraid of everything, and Olivia just doesn't quite know who Olivia is.

The whole story seemed off balanced to me. While the title and the premise seemed to be about Olivia's anorexia, the story seemed more about the entire family and their dysfunction. It reminded me of Ann Gabhart's series...and I enjoyed it more.

Very little is actually said about Olivia's weight loss...some is made about her obsession with fashion magazines and photos of models...but I never got a clear picture of why Olivia felt as she did. Was it the loss of her father's position at the church? Her own mother's body image? The birth of her younger sister?

And her reluctance to get involved in a relationship led me to believe she had been molested at some point...but that never comes out. Which left me hanging on why she was so closed off and reserved.

Maybe I just can't get into the head of an anorexic, but having battled bulimia all through high school and most of college, I'd like to think I had a clue. This novel just didn't seem to have one, and the ending was so muddy and disjointed I couldn't tell if Olivia's situation was resolved, or if it was left open ended for a sequel.

If it was, I won't be going along on that journey. I give "Feeling For Bones" two out of five bookmarks, almost wanting to give it three...but holding back for some reason. Kind of like I feel Bethany did with her novel.

Happy Reading!


1 comment:

Clair said...

I read the book this summer, it was sad. Maybe the point is that anorexia isn't so easy to pinpoint the cause of. And maybe it was cause she felt that it was the part of the life she could control.