The Rattled Bones

S.M. Parker. Simon Pulse, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4814-8204-2
Rilla Brae lives with her grandmother in a remote fishing village in Maine. Her father, a lobsterman, recently died, and her mother has long been confined to a psychiatric institution following a suicide attempt. As Rilla tries to sustain the family’s lobster business, she meets Sam, a university student studying the mysterious history of nearby Malaga Island, including residents who were buried there in mass graves. When Rilla starts to hallucinate about Malaga’s former inhabitants, she worries that she may have inherited her mother’s mental illness, but she agrees to help Sam with his project. Parker (The Girl Who Fell) languidly explores the depths of Rilla’s loss while giving her a tether in her relationship with Sam. Rilla’s determination to unearth the injustices of Malaga and sustain her father’s business anchor her, even as her hallucinations grow more frightening. Parker’s vivid descriptions of life on Maine’s coast and the lobstering business ground a haunting and atmospheric tale about the sea and reckoning with a community’s past. Ages 14–up. Agent: Melissa Sarver White, Folio Literary Management. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2017
Release date: 08/22/2017
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