Book Review: The Bone Garden – Heather Kassner

The Bone Garden book review photo
Photo: Electra Nanou

Tim Burton fans, pay attention! This is a book for you. Its magic and characters envelop the reader in a snug Gothic cocoon, delightfully bizarre and moving. Explore my book review for what makes The Bone Garden a wonderful work of dark fantasy. It’s a celebration – or study – of strangeness. A perfect, surreal reflection of what it’s like to be a little “monster” in a superficial world.

Why Is This Debut Novel Special?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. The commission from sales through these and other affiliate links comes at no extra expense to you.

Themes

It feels like The Addams Family and The Corpse Bride were weaved into a dark little fairy tale devoted to the magic, balm and pain of love. It fits well within the gnarly yet elegant Gothic setting, this story of Irréelle, a malformed girl confined by her mistress and creator to the boundaries of an old house, only allowed to venture into the labyrinthine underground passages of a graveyard in order to collect bone dust for Miss Vesper’s unique craft.

Characters

Each of them – broken, twisted or unpleasant – has a soul. Irréelle’s innocent perspective and care for all, some perhaps undeserving, makes it easy to see how wonderful she is despite – or because of – her physical defects. Every character, whether human or appendage, has something “wrong” and special about them that intrigues the reader.

Atmosphere

I almost pictured the whole book in black and white, the colours of night and bone. Something I particularly enjoyed is how the whole narration and structure conveys the beauty of strangeness, darkness and even death. Their otherness and unknown have a compassionate, melancholy light shown upon them that they become familiar. An eccentric normality ties all the story’s features together.

Conclusion

The bottom line of this book review: The Bone Garden is a modern Gothic fantasy, a sweet tale of little monsters seeking a sense of belonging. From its excellent cover design by Julia Lloyd to its core, Kassner’s debut novel feels like a gift to the world’s oddballs, a message of love and unity.

Grab your copy: Waterstones, Amazon, AbeBooks

Read more about book cover design on Book Breath!

Advertisements

Author: Electra Nanou

Wordy weirdo

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.