Book Reviews

Better Bones Review

By Jane-Rebecca Cannarella

Thirty West Publishing House


82 pages

$12 Paperback

ISBN: 978-0-578-22311-7

Book reviewed by Kavita Khajuria.

“shapeless and directionless, I created nests in disappearing terrains…”

With what translates as a flash-prose collective, themes of ‘Better Bones’ include the human experience and memory associations, with experiential observations occasionally entwined with episodes of self destructive behaviors. With an initial focus on the physical body as a landscape – and references of “hide” and “sinking meat” – the readers hear her need to “slough off the memories” and physically shed the past, as she references Greek mythology and constellations. Flashes of street life and attraction to others as “basement youth” convey her need to feel less alone “washed or unwashed” – with remnants of loneliness and physical immersions to “seek out other individual freckles, looking for myself in the soil of other people’s skin.” Substance use and the danger of deviant friends further communicate vulnerability “so alone individually while together.” Within the broad scope, one also hears reflections ranging from a scholarly and reminiscent fascination with crustaceans – to moments of dejection as “a flightless bird,” as well as a variety of memory associations in a train ride. ‘Better Bones’ compels with intrigue and compassion for the human experience, and an admiration for emotional sensitivity. The depth of memories and their associations are a phenomena that may be more universal than many realize.