Saturday, September 21, 2013



Story Description:
Random House UK|July 15, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-099-51656-9
It is 1899, London.  A young girl is abandoned by her feckless family and finds lodging and work assisting a doctor.  But Jane Stretch is no ordinary girl, and Mr. Swift is no ordinary doctor.
Jane does her best to keep up with the doctor, her twisted bones throbbing as they hurry past the markets, stage doors and side shows to appointments in certain boarding houses across town.  The young actresses who live there have problems, and Mr. Swift does what is required, calmly and discreetly.  Grateful to her benefactor and his wife, Jane assists him and asks no questions – the desperate young women not minding that it is a cripple girl who wipes their brows. 
When this unlikely pair become involved with a rakish music hall star, Johnny Treble, who calls on Swift’s help for his rich mistress’s predicament, it seems that Jane’s spell of good fortune is not going to last.  The police come knocking – how will the doctor explain the absence of his medical certificates?  How will they explain their connection to Johnny Treble’ sudden death?  And how will Jane argue her innocence?  It seems that no amount of wand waving will make their problems disappear. 
Little Bones conjures a tawdry, tantalising, troubling world of unclear morality and conflicting sympathies – richly evocative and full of curiosities.  Two people act against their consciences simply to get by, and the choices we make are called into question.  Is it possible to commit abhorrent acts without being corrupted by them? 

My Review:
Jane Stretch is only thirteen-years-old but smart as a whip.  The bones in her body are bent and twisted like a rope coiled in knots.  People make fun of her, throw stones at her and make inappropriate comments but Jane takes it all in stride. 
Her mother and father are drunks and her older sister, Agnes isn't the smartest bulb in the pack but they all desert, Jane and each seek out their own futures leaving young, Jane to save herself.  She ends up in a rooming house with a doctor and his wife but Mr. Swift is no ordinary doctor.
He hires Jane on as his assistant tending to the girls in the theatres and dance shows who find themselves in the family way and offers his "tincture" as a cure.  During one of their runs at the theatre they meet Johnny Treble, and their lives change forever.  Both Jane and the good doctor are arrested and are sitting in jail awaiting their trials after Johnny is found dead.
Little Bones was a short book that I read in one sitting, at only 282 pages it was a quick read but not just for the fact of its shortness, but also due to its content.  The story was fantastic and I loved the characters.  Who couldn't help but love Jane, she was intelligent, lovable, and her politeness would put us all to shame.  I thoroughly enjoyed this story from beginning to end. 

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