Author : Frances Quinn
Title : That Bonesetter Woman
Pages : 450
Publisher : Simon & Schuster
Publication date : July 21, 2022
Source : Owned
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
Meet Endurance Proudfoot, the bonesetter’s daughter: clumsy as a carthorse, with a tactless tongue and a face she’s sure only a mother could love. Durie only wants one thing in life – to follow her father and grandfather into the family business of bonesetting. It’s a physically demanding job, requiring strength, nerves of steel and discretion – and not the job for a woman.
But Durie isn’t like other women. She’s strong and stubborn and determined to get her own way. And she finds that she has a talent at bonesetting – her big hands and lack of grace have finally found their natural calling.
So, when she is banished to London with her sister, who is pretty, delicate and exactly the opposite to Durie in every way, Durie will not let it stop her realising her dreams.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Oh, what an absolute delight this novel is. So much love and if only I could put it into words to do it justice. ❤️
I dare you not to fall in love with the character of Endurance “Durie” Proudfoot. She’s clumsy, will never be called attractive, doesn’t have an ounce of diplomacy in her body (I hear you, sister!) and made me chuckle out loud from the moment she was introduced to me. Durie just wants one thing in life. To be a bonesetter, like her father and grandfather before her. She learns, she studies, she watches and it turns out she actually has the gift for it. Slight problem, though. Her father won’t allow her to join him because bonesetting isn’t a job for a woman. But Durie is strong, determined and stubborn. She won’t just give up on her dream.
Then there’s Durie’s sister, Lucinda. Pretty, charming, everything Durie is not. Lucinda can wrap everyone around her little finger, charm the pants off the most curmudgeonly person and turn every man’s head. I found Lucinda much harder to connect with, or even to like. She comes across as extremely entitled somehow, seemingly always choosing the easy way out because her looks afford her that possibility every time. But all of this also results in her being banished to London and Durie is to go with her. They’ll be staying with their Aunt Ellen, whom they’ve never met. It will mark the beginning of amazing, and less amazing, events for both of them.
I can’t even begin to describe the many ways I loved this novel. To have a story like this, full of incredibly strong and independent women finding their way in a man’s world and pursuing their dreams was just such a joy. Aunt Ellen is at the forefront of pretty much everything. She has been running her own successful shop for years and has absolutely no need for a man. This is in stark contrast with Lucinda who seems to think her life won’t amount to anything without a man in it, and Durie who has already accepted no man will ever want to be with her.
I adored Aunt Ellen from the get-go as well. Until at a certain point she does something I didn’t at all agree with and I got quite angry with her. I understood, but I also didn’t. That just goes to show how invested I had become in the lives of these characters. I desperately wanted all the good things for them, for them to succeed in their endeavours.
Of course, Durie’s path isn’t one made of roses. There are obstacles, mainly from men who can’t stand a woman “invading their patch”. There is a dash of romance that comes with quite a bit of predictability, but I didn’t care one bit. Mostly because considering the times, it came across as entirely plausible. There is heartbreak, loss, grief but also love, family and sheer determination to pick yourself up when you fall, hold your head up high, and keep chasing your dreams.
I loved everything about ‘That Bonesetter Woman‘. I loved the characters and the setting, the two very different worlds Lucinda and Durie move in, the witty moments and yes, even that little bit of romance. I found myself utterly absorbed and engrossed from start to finish. This novel offered the perfect escapism and I was a tad sad when it ended because I gladly would have spent a lot more time with Durie. Truly delightful and I would definitely recommend it. Frances Quinn (‘The Smallest Man‘ wasn’t a fluke 😉) has now firmly found herself a spot on my list of go-to authors. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
20 Books of Summer : 18/20