“Remember, my dear, you do not really and truly exist.”
I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but have you seen this cover? One look at it and I was obsessed, all credit to Julia Lloyd for her once again stunning design. And the best part is the story more than lives up to its image. I was spellbound from the first page, the image of a little girl descending into a dark basement, tasked with collecting the bones and just a single candle to light her way, burned in my mind.
“Made of dust and bone and imagination, Irréelle fears she’s not quite real. Only the finest magical thread tethers her to life—and to Miss Vesper. But for all her efforts to please her cruel creator, the thread is unraveling. Irréelle is forgetful as she gathers bone dust. She is slow returning from the dark passages beneath the cemetery. Worst of all, she is unmindful of her crooked bones.
When Irréelle makes one final, unforgivable mistake by destroying a frightful creature just brought to life, Miss Vesper threatens to imagine her away once and for all. Defying her creator for the very first time, Irréelle flees to the underside of the graveyard and embarks on an adventure to unearth the mysterious magic that breathes bones to life, even if it means she will return to dust and be no more.”
At first you fear for the girl Irréelle as she goes down into the dark, until you realise it’s not what’s underground that she needs to fear but what’s back upstairs inside the house! There is a very Neil Gaiman quality to Heather’s story writing that really lights up my little black heart. It was beautifully dark and sweet, and is ultimately about finding friendship in the face of loneliness and peace after a long heartache.
I really loved it and would read it again. It’s not dark in the scary sense it’s more the Tim Burtonesque kind of dark that we are all fond of. I will give it to Abigail to read as I think she will enjoy it too. I really feel like The Bone Garden is going to make a lot of little black hearts happy 🖤
Many thanks to Lydia from Titan Books for sending me a copy to read and review, all opinions are my own and I am not paid to give them.