Remembering the Bones by Frances Itani, 283 pages
Dewey's Books; 2nd Canadian Book Challenge; What's in a Name: body part
I've just finished reading this sweet book, about Georgie, 88 year old widow, as she recounts her life lying in a ravine after her car rolled on the way to visit the Queen. Since I read this for Dewey's Book Challenge, I decided to head over to Dewey's to read her review, the one I'm sure I read a year ago that first intrigued me to Remembering the Bones. Oh dear. Dewey's review puts the book in a whole new light. Instead of pulling quotes from the book, I'm pulling quotes from Dewey's review:
Georgie is one of those characters that seem so real, you think of them for a long time after you finish reading, like old friends. Much like Dewey shared her life online and made us all feel like we knew her. I'm still having trouble in some ways defining the relationships with online friends, especially since we read about each other, almost like characters in a book.
My favorite thing about her is that when reminiscing, nearly all her thoughts are of the people in her life. Almost nothing else seems to matter at the end, and that’s how I feel every day, that life is about the people we love.
Georgie comes from a family of strong, long lived women, and the reader gets to know them all very well. Her family is small and close-knit and covers some spectacular times in history, the 20th century. It's the kind of book I like, where the families are ordinary and don't have tragic incidents, other than the everyday tragic events of birth, life, and death. I had the same feeling when I finished A Good House by Bonnie Burnard.
The times that loom large in Georgie’s memory, because they’re painful, or full of happiness, or simply unusual for Georgie, matter to the reader, in the same way that our own common griefs or joys matter to us.
Maybe it's too weird to read about a woman at the end of her life, recommended by Dewey who so recently died. It cheers the heart to know that Dewey enjoyed the book and could see the love from the book as reflected from her experience.