After reading two fairly boring novels, I really needed a fresh narrative to sink my teeth into. ‘The Bone Sparrow‘ was the perfect thing to read next. ‘The Bone Sparrow’ tells the story of Subhi, a refugee. Unlike the other refugees in the detention camp, Subhi was born there so knows no different than this world we are introduced into.
This was the perfect way to look at the refugee crisis. Subhi’s child like narrative gives us the sense of innocence that people seem to over look when talking about immigrants and refugees – at the end of the day, these are people who just want to be able to look after their families. Plus this is a subject which I feel really strongly about, so it was fairly obvious I was going to love this novel.
Zana Fraillon paints Subhi’s character perfectly – from the language that Subhi used to describe everything, Fraillon creates such a beautifully innocent character that you can’t help falling in love with. You automatically want to protect him because he is still a child. It makes you feel so much sympathy for the poor people who live this reality every day.
I loved the interaction between Subhi and Jimmie – there was something so innocent about their little friendship that it fills you with hope that there’s going to be a happy ending for all the characters in the story. Plus I loved when Subhi came to Jimmie’s rescue – that was such a beautiful moment in the story.
The ending hit me hard – I did not see that coming, despite the escalation of the events that happened in the camp. I felt so sorry for Subhi and what he was feeling after that horrible conclusion! It hit me right in the feels. From the way Subhi had been describing Eli’s character through out the whole story, it made you almost forget that he was also a child, which made the last part of the novel so much harder to accept.
I cannot recommend this novel enough. The characters were beautiful, and Subhi’s narrative keeps that child like naivety that adds an extra layer to the story. The way that he looks at and interacts with other characters through out the novel gives you a much clearer sense of who they are as people – children don’t tend to lie, and his characterisation of Beaver makes it clear that he’s a horrible character. I loved the Shakespeare duck too – that was a really cute and funny added layer to Subhi’s narrative. I loved the cheesy jokes the duck came out with, as well as the duck’s confidence. Plus there was a flip book style design of a bird in the bottom corner of every page, which was so cool!
I would give it a 5/5 because it was such a beautiful story, and Fraillon really does these people justice. I am so glad I picked this up from the library!