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The Bone Fire  By  cover art

The Bone Fire

By: György Dragomán
Narrated by: Caitlin Kelly
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Publisher's summary

A New York Times Editors' Choice

“Anything can happen in The Bone Fire—and everything does. Dragomán puts us in the middle of our most wondrous and terrifying childhood fairytales, somehow unhazing their dreaminess and replicating their electrifying uncertainty all at once.” (Téa Obreht, best-selling author of Inland and The Tiger's Wife)

"[Dragomán's] telling is not just magic, but enchantment." (Rebecca Makkai, New York Times Book Review)

From an award-winning and internationally acclaimed European writer: A chilling and suspenseful novel set in the wake of a violent revolution about a young girl rescued from an orphanage by an otherworldly grandmother she’s never met

Thirteen-year-old Emma grows up under an Eastern European dictatorship where oppression seems eternal. When her dissident parents die in a car accident, she’s taken to an orphanage, only to be adopted soon after by a grandmother she has never met.

While her homeland is shattered by a violent revolution, Emma—like a witch's apprentice—comes to learn the ways of her new grandmother, who can tell fortunes from coffee dregs, cause and heal pain at will, and shares her home with the ghost of her husband. But this is not the main reason her grandmother is treated with suspicion and contempt by most people in town. They suspect her or her husband of having been involved in the disappearance of top secret government files.

As Emma learns her family history, she begins to see that, for her grandparents, the alternate reality shaped by magic was their only form of freedom. The Bone Fire is a political Gothic, carried along by the menace and promise of a fairy tale.

©2014 Gyorgy Dragoman. English translation © 2021 by Ottilie Mulzet (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

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Mediocracy in art

A veeeery long, often discombobulated, frequently insipid story that could have been told in half the pages.
Some paragraphs are so long and filled with trivia that they literally become soporific.
The ending is anticlimactic, if there ever was a climax that was not buried under piles of non sequitur. I frequently had to hold back the urge to push the forward button.
To put the icing on the proverbial cake, I heard the audible version of this book and listening to this jejune story in a kid’s voice could be a prisoner interrogation torture.
Really people if you want to read a coming to age story in historically difficult times read All the light we can not see.

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