The Bones of the Story
Published by Impspired Books, UK
Published July 9, 2023
Praise for The Bones of the Story
With The Bones of the Story, Sandra Arnold has written a deft and gripping novella. Here is a dark secret. Here, the interplay between the vagaries of unexpected tragedy and an abiding resilience. And here, told in a variety of brilliantly penned individual narratives, is a demonstrable accounting of the durable, albeit hard-won matter we are made of.
- Robert Scotellaro, author of Ways to Read the World and What Are the Chances?
Sandra Arnold makes yet another splash in the literary world with her new novella-in-flash The Bones of the Story. It is a page turner that I simply could not put down. Told from multiple perspectives, The Bones of the Story is beautifully written, a gripping mystery, and among the best novellas I’ve ever read. She is deserving of a major award.
- Niles Reddick is a Pulitzer nominated author of a novel and also has a novella and three short fiction collections. His newest is If Not For You by Big Table Publishing.
Sandra Arnold's The Bones of the Story immediately draws the reader in with its premise concerning the mysterious death of a child. We are invited to discover how the event haunts those who witnessed what passed. The stories reveal the ugly underbelly of an apparently sweet Blytonesque world where children derive pleasure from gobstoppers and daring each other to take risks. There's Bryan, who chooses to dance when he is expected to become a successful rugby player like his father, a man who would rather see his son dead than following the wrong path. We hear: Bryan’s father always referred to his bad temper as something separate from himself, which shows the character's vulnerability in addition to his flaws. There's Joyce, whose imagination has her soaring to dizzying heights; and Deb, who follows the other children's lead, always fearing her father will discover her antics. There's Angela who may not be as naive as she seems. There's Martin, silenced by shock, who tames trauma the only way he knows how. And Adrian who wasn't even born when the story unfolded years earlier, but perhaps had the most to lose had it unravelled a different way. From the outset, this novella-in-flash is imbued with an irresistible tension that urges the reader to turn the page until the story reaches its surprising conclusion, leaving shadows that are ghostly and ghastly in equal part.
- Nod Ghosh, author of The Crazed Wind, Filthy Sucre and Toy Train (Truth Serum Press). Forthcoming: Throw A Seven (Reflex Press), Love, Lemons and Illicit Sex (Truth Serum Press), The Two-Tailed Snake (Fairlight Books) and How to Bake a Book (Everytime Press).