March 12, 2013

Book Review - The Translation of Bones by Francesca Kay

This was recommended to me by a borrower and thankyou for the recommendation which I am now passing on! Kay's first novel won the Orange Prize and although I don't always seek out prize-winners, I will be looking for her other work. An English suburban church has some regular helpers who clean and do the flowers. One day, one of the helpers, Mary Margaret, a simple woman with strong faith, sees Jesus on the Cross bleeding from his head shortly before she falls and is taken to hospital. This novel has achingly real and beautiful depictions of Fidelma, an unmarried mother from Ireland, now facing the end of her life; of Stella, an MP's wife reflecting on her children's lives; of Father Diamond, the parish priest, desperately seeking answers; and of Kiti, whose life experience leads her to see conspiracies where they don't exist. Mary Margaret is a catalyst in ways she doesn't even comprehend to changes that affect them all. Searing and evocative, thoughtful and measured. I could easily read this several times and get more out of it each time.

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