Sunday, March 1, 2009

BOOK: Remembering the Bones by Frances Itani

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.


  1. Yeah. I read Looking for Alaska by John Green for Dewey's challenge and pulled quotes from her review. It is about death, too, and she talks about wondering what was going to happen next (Dewey does). It was a bit weird, but also fitting... I have yet to read Frances Itani, but I plan to one of these days!

  2. I love the way you blended your review with Dewey's quotes. I didn't realize Kailana had done that with Looking for Alaska. I'll have to look for this one, thanks!

  3. Wonderful review! I loved how you quoted Dewey instead of the author! This book is on my TBR.

  4. Excellent review and the blending of Dewey's thoughts as well. I just really started to get into book blogging when Dewey passed away. Thanks for bringing her back to life for those of us that didn't get a chance to know her!! I'm going to have to read this book now!!

  5. Glad to see you enjoyed this book. I loved it so much when I read it as an ARC! I enjoyed Dewey's review as well, and it was nice to see her reflections on it included here.

  6. Very, very interesting and well-done review. I like this especially: "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."

    Isn't that the truth? And even down to the fact of the things a writer leaves unsaid. The reader of blogs knows only what the writer chooses to tell. A writer may talk about recipes for example, without mentioning the fact of four divorces. Or there may be great grief hidden behind a bright and breezy writing style. And of course there are some writers who are pretty much the same in a blog as in 'real' life. Fascinating subject.


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