- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
Bone House Hardcover – 5 Oct 2000
Special offers and product promotions
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
'Betsy Tobin('s debut novel) mesmerises the reader with its gentle mysticism, carnal themes and dream-like qualities...a fine gothic novel which burrows under the skin' THE TIMES
'Remarkable...Here is an author to watch for the future' Publishing News
'A wonderful and moving novel...it deserves the widest possible readership' Iain Pears, author of AN INSTANCE OF THE FINGERPOST
'Bone House is a wonderuful and moving novel, with an assured grasp of character, story and history. It deals with the sort of people normally ignored by historians and historical novelists alike, and brings to life the poor and the marginal of the past without ever sentimentalising them. It deserves the widest possible readership' Iain Pears, author of AN INSTANCE OF THE FINGERPOST
'This carnal story is a captivating debut' Good Book Guide
'Wonderful!... a compelling mystery... poignant and gripping' Tracy Chevalier, author of GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING
'An entertaining and highly original first novel' Harpers and Queen
'Vividly compelling...a brilliant debut' The Lady
Taut and assured...[a] seductive story' Publishers Weekly
'Tobin writes imaginatively of shadowy passions...[an] involving story' The Times (Play section)
'Tobin's neatly measured prose cuts through a tangle orf dark and dirty secrets...with pearly clarity....her writing has weight and resonance. A compelling story of haunted lives' Time Out
'Remarkable...Here is an author to watch for the future' PUBLISHING NEWS
'Finely put together...a sober fairy-tale' Observer
'Entertaining and highly original' Harpers and Queen
'This beautiful, tense and moving first novel' Le Monde
'Poetic [and] haunting' Booklist
'Wonderfully real...a surprisingly delicate murder mystery, tempered by great detail and remarkable control' Los Angeles Times
'Strong on atmosphere and will appeal to devotees of the gothic romance' Guardian
'[An] eloquently written tale of love, lust and sorcery - and the darker places we are often forced to confront...a jolly good read' Mslexia
'Betsy Tobin draws us deeply into the seldom illuminated world of the Elizabethan underclasses. Her characters who, in other novels, are generally rendered in broad strokes--the prostitute, the midwife, the lady's maid, the village idiot--are here painted in vivid hue and detail. She has captured not only the language, but the harsh reality experienced by the majority of England's population. A seventeenth century Upstairs, Downstairs' Robin Maxwell, author of The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn and The Queen's Bastard
' From the opening pages of Bone House, I found myself utterly engrossed. How deftly Betsy Tobin transports us the sixteenth century and how lucidly she spins her complex tale of obsession and superstition. This is a beautiful and suspenseful novel'- Margot Livesey, author of The Missing World and Criminals
'Wonderful!...a compelling mystery...poignant and gripping' Tracy Chevalier, author of GIRL WITH A
'Strong on atmosphere and will appeal to devotees of gothic romance' Guardian
'Finely put together...a sober-fairy' Observer
'Tobin's mesmeric tale...Filled with superstition and desire, murder and medicine, this is a fable with a darkly modern edge' DAILY Mail
'Betsy Tobin['s]...debut novel mesmerises the reader with its gentle mysticism, carnal themes and dream-like qualities...a fine gothic novel which burrows under the skin' The Times
'[A] carefully crafted and darkly compelling tale' The Big Issue in the North
'A gripping narrative...a tale shimmering with psychological dept' New York Times
'Elegant, sensual and unputdownable' Buzz
'An extraordinary, shocking fantasy that locks the reader in its mordant grip... A darkly mesmerising debut from a writer who promises to astonish us further' Yorkshire Post
'Tobin's neatly measured prose cuts through a tangle of dark and dirty secrets...with pearly clarity...her writing was weight and resonance. A compelling story of haunted lives' Time Out
A gripping, gothic, carnal and very elegant debut by an extraordinary literary voice.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Skillfully incorporating a vast amount of period detail when establishing the setting and atmosphere, Tobin also incorporates medical treatments, dreams thought to be inspired by the devil, and graphic accounts of childbirth, burials, and bewitchment. Itinerant elixir-salesmen, domestic workers in the Great House, local pub patrons, and magistrates provide color and supplement the main characters--the cruel master of the Great House and his sadly deformed son, the sickly and deluded mistress of the house, the narrator's stern and private mother, Dora's simple 11-year-old son with the body of a man and a hidden cache of gold, and Dora herself, who arrived in the village suddenly from afar and whose past is mysterious. The narrative is very smooth and conversational in tone, flowing quickly and apparently effortlessly. The story is uncomplicated, with a grand finale of an ending. Lovers of romances will find it especially appealing. Mary Whipple
It would be interesting to know the story behind the painting on the cover. For any who enjoyed Ms. Tracy Chevalier's, "The Girl With The Pearl Earring", the woman on the cover gazing over her left shoulder with a tear shaped pearl earring will appear remarkably familiar. While not the same girl, or the same artist, the picture is appropriate once the story is engaged.
I want to qualify the use of the word startling. One of the primary characters is a mid-wife, who during the tale, delivers children and relates stories of other births. The birth of a child is many things, that anyone would find the descriptions in this book distasteful is absurd and infantile. To expect that a difficult delivery of a child in the 17th Century would be any more pleasant than today, is also an expression of ignorance. To be fair, if detailed descriptions of surgery bother you, there are passages in the book they may make you wince. There are not in any manner inappropriate, nor are they some slovenly device to shock, or appeal to the prurient.
The only reason for the lack of a fifth star is that I would imagine, that as a writer, this author will write even more engaging books. However, if she stopped at one, she has still made a worthy addition to good literature.
As this book has been well reviewed by other readers, I will not reiterate what has been said before.
I've read four of her books, and have not been disappointed, you wont be either. May she go onto write many more.
The story begins with rather a long narrative introducing place and people, which I felt could have been better done through action of some sort. It is told by a serving girl at the big house to whom the lady takes a shine and so is elevated to working personally for the lady instead of as a kitchen maid. I smelt a stereotype at this point and there proved to be many more - young girl raped by the son of the master who had his bastard child, master's son crippled and hated by father, prostitute who provided succour to the men of the village and to whom the women brought gifts, innocent woman accused of witchcraft, alcoholic bully of a father.
I found it all a bit boring after a short while and skimmed much of the book. Not one for me, I'm afraid.