Big Bones by Laura Dockrill
Once it reaches its tipping point, Laura Dockrill's novel is an enveloping tale
Meet Bluebelle, aka BB. She’s a 16-year-old girl going about her life, encouraged to tackle her weight by dieting and eating better. The thing is that she’s perfectly happy with herself, and more bothered about looking forward and getting on with things.
Bluebelle has great friends, a complicated family situation but a close bond with her younger sister – she has no intention of returning to school, instead seeking out an apprenticeship and making her own way. It’s only when a tragedy befalls the family that everything clicks into perspective, all told through the food diary – emphasis on the diary – she was asked to keep.
The scene is clearly and immediately set, but Big Bones takes a few too many pages to shift into the main gear of plot. Once that tipping point is reached, though, it’s an enveloping tale, navigating body image, family disruption and relationships with food in bitesize entries that raise a smile.
It’s empowering to show a young girl handling weight issues while brimming with body confidence; changes occur through choice and how life unfolds, not because of external pressure. It’s a tale of friendship and sisterly bonds, finding yourself and how family can come together. It may take a while to get going, but Big Bones is a book with a big heart.