Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Translation of the Bones; Francesca Kay


Author:  Francesca Kay
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Scribner
Edition: eBook - Kindle
Setting: London
Source: purchase
Date Completed: July/2012
Rating: 5/5
Recommend: yes

The Church of the Sacred Heart in London takes center stage in Translation of the Bones, a moving story about how different individuals deal with issues like faith, loss and grief.

Mary Margaret O'Reilly is a 33 year-old woman, childlike in thought and action. She lives at home with her morbidly obese, housebound mother, Fidelma.  One day, in preparation for Easter week services at the church where she volunteers, she is cleaning a statue of Christ, and while doing this she believes she sees blood coming from Christ's wounds, taking a tumble and bumping her head in the process.  Off to the hospital she goes, however, the incident causes hysteria among the faithful when word about what she claims to have witnessed spreads far and wide, and the faithful flock to this small church.

When one of the other volunteers hears that Mary Margaret took a tumble, bumped her head and was in the hospital, her response was.... 

"Mary Margaret was already two-sandwiches short of a picnic, Mrs. Armitage had said. Lord knows what she'll be like now."

Without giving too much away, I'll just say that this book is so much more than a story about someone claiming to have witnessed a miraculous vision.  It's a story about several individuals dealing with their own inner turmoil, and issues of faith. The author does a wonderful job delving into the psyche of each of the characters: Mary Margaret, her mother Fidelma, Mrs. Armitage, Stella Morrison and Father Diamond.  For me, Mary Margaret was such a sympathetic character, especially after learning about her mother's past, and the dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship the two had shared. In fact, all of the characters were memorable in their own way.

The story is very dark, but at the same time time thought provoking. For a debut novel, the author expertly creates an atmosphere of foreboding that makes the fewer than 250 pages seem to come alive off the pages. The ending was one worth waiting for ---wow.

(Initially when I finished this book in July, my rating was 4.5/5, but now that (3+) weeks have passed ,I've decided as I write this review,  it's definitely one of the better books I've read recently. It is just so different from anything else I've read in a long time, so I really feel it's worthy of a 5/5 stars rating.

READ this BOOK.

17 comments:

  1. This definitely sounds like a must read. It's going on my list! Great review. =)

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  2. Very serious themes. I would have to be in the mood to read this, but it does sound like a good book.

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  3. The fact that its different makes me want to read it.

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  4. It sounds like you enjoyed this one more than I did! I do love that feeling of a book increasing in rating after you finish it though. Glad this one was such a good read for you!

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  5. I love it when a book sticks with me like this one did for you. The religious faith theme turns me off, but the mother daughter relationship aspect appeals to me.

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  6. I am really thinking of picking this for my one book group - my other book group turned it down.

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  7. It sounds like this book has stayed with you for a while. I'm adding it to my wish list.

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  8. I read your last paragraph and literally said "wow" outloud. I often think about ratings and how they change over time--either up or down. It would be interesting to look at your past books and see how your feelings have changed for them. This sounds like a really intriguing book--I love a book that has such a strong atmospheric feel to it!

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  9. Sounds like a good one for sure!

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  10. This does sound excellent,and rather strange, which is just how I like my books. I haven't read a book that features religion so prominently in awhile, but this one sounds like it has a lot of issues going on besides the obvious. Terrific review today. I would probably love this book, so I will be adding it to the list!

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  11. I remember the intro you posted a few weeks ago! It was fascinating and I'm glad the book turned out to be a winner - adding to my list.

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  12. I find it interesting that your rating went up after thinking about it for awhile. When I do that, my rating often goes down.

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  13. This sounds like a book I would really like and that cover really grabbed my attention.

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  14. I think you liked this more than I did, although I couldn't put the book down at the end. I enjoyed the character of Father Diamond the most, I thought his struggles with faith were very sensitively written.

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  15. I'm glad that you read this one and wrote such a wonderful review of it because the cover alone would have me moving on and not even give it a second glance. This one sounds worthy of another chance and it's going on my MUST READ list!

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  16. This one sounds right up my alley! Will definitely be reading it!

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  17. Must be good if you decided to up your rating. It's great when a book stays with you like that.

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