Bone House Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Bone House


Scribner, Feb 2001, 23.00, 224 pp.
ISBN: 0743201965

    Fourteen years ago, Dora crossed the Channel to settle in the English village. Dora lived by her own rules, but though a big lady, men wanted her and women befriended her because she was fair and honest. She made her living lying with males. About three years later, the narrator's mother, a midwife, helped Dora give birth to a boy whose father is not known.
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    Eleven years pass, the boy is big like his mother, but seems a bit slow perhaps because he looks like a man already. However, he reacts like the child he is when Dora dies from what appears to be an accident. The narrator, a maid, beings making inquiries into Dora's death when she learns that her role model of female independence was pregnant and predicted her own death.

    BONE HOUSE is a superb look at a remote English seventeenth century village. The story line centers on the roles of townsfolk and the questioning of the prevalent paradigm. The characters as individuals are fully developed and provide a lucid look at the era, but seem off kilter in relation to one another. Still, Betsy Tobin provides a well-written powerful historical fiction that places a magnified look at a bygone era.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Bone House

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   50% Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   finding a known killer

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   servant Age:    -   20's-30's


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Betsy Tobin Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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