The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen.
A suspense thriller that takes place in the 1800s medical world and in the present day. The novel is about a modern day woman’s struggle to rebuild her life after a divorce. She decides to purchase a home that is badly in need of repair. While out one day gardening, swearing off men and determined to grow something permanent in her life, she discovers a skeleton of a woman in her backyard.
The story begins from there. With the woman going on a journey to uncover the past, meet new people, and ultimately discover and rebuild her life along the way.
In the 1800s component of the plot it revolves around a medical school, young doctors, privilege society, a farmer boy and a young woman trying to do what is best to keep herself and her infant safe. Because there is a killer on the streets and they are coming after her and the baby. For what reason, the reader is left to wonder, guess and imagine. Who will help this woman? The men of high society or the farmer boy who wishes to be a doctor? Will they be able to save her and the baby in time?
This was an overall well written, fast paced novel with intriguing characters who you could relate to and connect with. The choices of life to fit in or do the right thing. To take a chance or stay the same. Risk it all for a moment of happiness or close your back to the truth and throw away the key. Were all themes running throughout the book.
You are left trying to determine who the killer is and what their motive is for killing so many and leaving a strange mark on their body.
With novels that delve between the past and the present, it can be a jarring experience for the reader and sometimes the plot is not connected well. This is not the case in this novel. It is wonderfully woven, great character development, an intriguing plot and the consistent theme throughout of what would you do if you were them.
The reader is left with the question: what choices do you make and why? Are you brave enough to take a chance or go with the crowd. Interesting concepts to think about. I like it when a book makes me reflect on myself. As well, of course, the simple pleasure of curling up with a good book is a reward in itself.
The downside of the book would have to be the medical component. The author enthusiastically went into great detail about autopsies that were performed, the pilfering of corpses from fresh graves and the gruesome medical procedures that were performed. In my opinion a lot of the blood and gore could have been left out. As so many pages did not need to be devoted to how you remove organs from corpses.
However, I did like how the author at the end of the story includes a brief history of one of the character, Dr. Oliver Wendall Homes. The factual historical tie to the story of the doctor, Oliver Wendall Homes, who in 1843 presented a paper at the Boston Medical Society that forever changed the medical practise and helped to save lives. The simple act of washing hands and wearing gloves. Before him doctors would move from the autopsy room to examine a patient without washing their hands. Many people died from this and the notion of washing hands was seen as absorb. Until investigated, studied and proven by Oliver Wendall Homes. In the story we are only introduced to the young Dr. Homes who does not have a lead character role.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a suspenseful thriller with a historical component. Will be lending or donating it on, so someone else can enjoy it as well. Am interested in reading some of her other novels.
For me if I love a book I keep it, enjoy the book I recommend to someone else and lend to them or donate, don’t like a book at all, simply donate somewhere and hope someone else finds it interesting.
Have you read any of her books before?