Remembering the Bones

Remembering the Bones

Book - 2007
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Georgina Danforth Witley has never felt she has led anything but an ordinary life. But here she is on her way to meet the Queen. Born on April 21, 1926, the exact same day as Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Georgie is one of 99 privileged Commonwealth subjects invited to an 80th-birthday lunch at Buckingham Palace. All she has to do is drive two hours to the airport and board the plane for London. Except that in her excited state, Georgie drives her car off the road, tumbling hood over trunk into a thickly wooded ravine. Thrown from the car, injured and unable to move but desperately hopeful that someone will find her, she must rely on her strength, her full store of family memories, her no-nonsense wit and a recitation of the names of the bones in her body--a long-forgotten exercise from childhood that reminds her she is still very much alive.

As Georgina lies stranded and helpless, she reflects on her role as a daughter, mother, sister, wife and widow; she casts back over family histories, lost loves and painful secrets. What has it all amounted to?
Frances Itani has given us an insightful, moving and beautifully written novel, fanciful and profound by turns. Remembering the Bones goes deeply into the life of an ordinary person who, in her instincts to survive, becomes extraordinary.

Grand Dan sat with her head bowed while she listened to the memories of a lineup of colleagues and patients, and then she laughed with a sudden, short bark. It was as if she was telling them that they knew nothing of Dr. Matthias Danforth, whom she had loved. She had held him between her thighs; she had run her hand down the muscles of his back; she was the one who made King Edward cake the way he liked it, with walnuts ground into the icing. . . . She was the one whose skin, under his tracing fingers, had turned to silk.
--From Remembering the Bones

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins Publishers, c2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780002005401
Branch Call Number: ITA
Characteristics: 282 p. ;,24 cm


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Oct 28, 2016

This is the 3rd Frances Itani book I've read. Enjoyed each one.

A most compelling read. An unusual canvas on which to hang an old woman's memories before she dies or is rescued from the ravine where she has been trapped for several days after her car crash. Her fatal flaw has been her independence throughout her life and now in her dying days. Remembering the Bones from Gray's anatomy was a nice touch which underlined the old woman's intelligence contrasted with the simple life she was forced to live because she had so few choices except to be 'independent'.

Aug 17, 2011

This author pulls you in, you can feel, hear and smell what she writes about. She also is a dispenser of truths.

debwalker Apr 30, 2011

"Sharing a birthday with Queen Elizabeth is the catalyst for Frances Itani’s beautiful 2008 novel. When Canadian Georgie Danforth Whitley is invited to celebrate her 80th birthday with the Queen (one of many similarities the two women share), she gets so excited, she drives her car off the road. Remembering the Bones is a touching and a powerful reminder that you don’t have to be royal to live an extraordinary life."
CBC Books

smc01 Dec 04, 2007

This is a beautifully written book. Itani has a remarkable way of summing up an entire chapter in a few words. This is a sad but uplifting story of an eighty-year old woman, Georgie, who has the chance to re-examine her life and discover its value. Georgie is an unforgettable character.

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