Remembering the Bones: A Novel by Frances Itani


The narrator of Remembering the Bones is a Canadian who was born the same day as the Queen.  On her 80th birthday she, along with 98 others have been invited to celebrate with the Queen and as she begins her journey, her car crashes into a ravine near her house and in her helpless state, she realizes only the Queen will realize she is missing.  She keeps herself going by reflecting on her life, falling into despair about the sad times, anger at others.  And often she returns to her connection, a one-sided affair, to the Queen.

I found her pain and distress in the ravine excruciating and wished for another device that would allow the narrator to reflect on her life.

In thinking about her young adult life, she says, "What astonishes me now is that every hour was filled to overflowing and yet, looking back at that intense period, all the days seem like one day."  And later,

And throughout all of this time, each event flew down like a separate pattern threading itself through a bolt of cloth.  Each moment hummed with energy, shifted and settled until assured its own space and shape.  And then, some unseen hand darted a needle into the entire long bolt and drew it together so that all of the patterns merged and no single image could be unravelled or pried off.

I do believe that paragraph alone is worth the discomfort.

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