Small Bones by Vicki Grant

Rating: 4/5 stars Small Bones.jpg

Pages: 256

Series: Secrets

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Canadian Literature, Historical

Publication date: September 29, 2015


“… Try St. Ninian’s Anglican Church. All the rich people around here get hatched, matched and dispatched there. One of the ladies on the auxiliary is bound to recognize the crest.” (Ch. 6)

Following the fire that took out the Home, Dot finds herself the only one of the Seven that isn’t ready to leave Hope. Yet leave she does, trying to follow the clues that lead to who she is and where she comes from. Getting a job as a seamstress seems like the perfect way to get to know the locals, and to find out why she was given up.

This tale is full of twists and turns as Dot tries to uncover the truth surrounding her birth. Grant did a fantastic job at keeping me on my toes throughout this read, switching the clues around until I wasn’t sure what was a real clue, and what were clues that Dot was hoping for. This muddled mystery read made me laugh and want to pull my hair out – sometimes at the same time.

If you’re looking for a really fun mystery read, I recommend checking this one out. I’m not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but this read made me second guess that opinion. Grant did a phenomenal job at telling a compelling mystery in a world that isn’t solely hers. As each of the Seven has a different author telling their story, I look forward to seeing how the rest of the girls’ tales fall into this same world. So far I’ve only read Tess’ story, and I can already imagine the ways that the two girls interacted with with each other – as well as how they’d react to the truths that have been uncovered.

This is my first read by Grant, but I’m always looking for more authors to read more of. Since I enjoyed this tale so much, I certainly look forward to reading more of her works in the future.


*Spoilers ahead*

I absolutely adore Dot. Sure she might not be the most truthful of characters, but I loved seeing her try to make her way through her mysterious past. While it probably wasn’t the best idea to lie about literally everything in your past to the person you’re falling in love with, Eddie seems to have forgiven her just fine. Lying about her past did help her figure out the truth, though.

It must have been hard, trying to keep your identity a secret while also attempting to uncover a town’s secret. While Eddie didn’t ask a lot of questions, he must have been suspicious as to why Dot was so interested in the tale of the Bye Bye Baby. Especially since he’s a reporter and she actually corrected others on the facts of the case, even though she’d supposedly only found out about it.

I’m glad that Dot didn’t end up being Eddie’s half sister, because I was worried that would end up being the case for a little while. The clues just seemed too convenient at that point, pointing too easily at this. I didn’t want to believe that the mystery was that straight forward and cliched. Thankfully, it wasn’t so. Besides, it would’ve been icky to think that Dot and Eddie were siblings – especially because she wasn’t going to actually tell him that was why she couldn’t be with him anymore. I should have known that more than one person in town could’ve come back from the war missing a leg. It certainly was a huge red herring.

It’s quite a tale that Dot comes from. I can’t imagine being young and in love with someone who so clearly only wants to do right by you yet knows that he isn’t it. I’m glad that Lucinda ended up finding happiness outside of Buckminster, even if it must’ve broken her heart when she was young and forced to leave Len. It really was the best thing for him, having her out of his life, even if it sounds harsh to say so. Best for them both, really.

It certainly is quite the tale when you think about it. Having both the parents not know that Dot survived, having the teenagers that were there think that it was just someone playing a trick on them, certainly took some ingenuity. I didn’t expect so many people to be in on it, to know pieces of the tale and keep it to themselves for so many years. While Eddie might have been told to stop investigating the story, I’m glad that he and Dot never truly stopped. I’m glad that they were able to find the truth, together.

And more than that, I’m glad that Dot finally found a place where she belongs. Sure she found her parents and can finally have them in her life should she so choose. But more than that, she’s found a place where she won’t be treated as just an orphan. She’s got Eddie in her life, one of the most loyal people ever. She’s starting to make friends, and not just because they’re forced to live together as orphans. A found family can be just as rewarding as – and sometimes even more so than – your biological family.

Dot wasn’t lying when she told Eddie that she had a lot of sisters. Growing up together made them family, even if they weren’t related by blood. I hope that one day they’ll find each other again – especially the Seven – and can rekindle the kind of friendship that they had for so many years. They each deserve happiness, and I’m glad that Dot found hers.



Other review from the series:

  1. The Unquiet Past by Kelley Armstrong


3 thoughts on “Small Bones by Vicki Grant

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