The Bone Mother
Nominated for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Award."The Giller longlist includes the first-ever horror novel to be in contention for Canada's most prestigious literary prize." - The Globe and Mail.Three neighboring villages on the Ukrainian/Romanian border are the final refuge for the last of the mythical creatures of Eastern Europe. Now, on the eve of the war that may eradicate their kind—and with the ruthless Night Police descending upon their sanctuary—they tell their stories and confront their destinies.Eerie and unsettling like the best fairy tales, these incisor-sharp portraits of ghosts, witches, sirens, and seers—and the mortals who live at their side and in their thrall—will chill your marrow and tear at your heart.David Demchuk has been writing for theatre, film, television, radio, and other media for more than thirty years. His reviews, essays, interviews and columns have appeared in such magazines as Toronto Life, Xtra, What! Magazine, and the Toronto Star. The Bone Mother is his first novel.

The Bone Mother Details

TitleThe Bone Mother
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 15th, 2017
PublisherChiZine Publications
ISBN-139781771484213
Rating
GenreFantasy, Short Stories, Fiction, Horror, Adult

The Bone Mother Review

  • Sadie Hartmann
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a must have for lovers of horror-especially if you enjoy folklore (creepy, dark folklore!).I'm of Bohemian decent, so the Romani influence and language here was a specific treat for me. This book is a "big picture" story as well as many individual stories which are interconnected and help to develop the big picture. But I don't want to reveal too much because most of the fun is discovering a new author's voice/narrative and style and story for yourself.Some of these stories scared m This book is a must have for lovers of horror-especially if you enjoy folklore (creepy, dark folklore!).I'm of Bohemian decent, so the Romani influence and language here was a specific treat for me. This book is a "big picture" story as well as many individual stories which are interconnected and help to develop the big picture. But I don't want to reveal too much because most of the fun is discovering a new author's voice/narrative and style and story for yourself.Some of these stories scared me so bad! I felt like they got more and more frightening as the book progressed, the pictures even becoming more intense and creepy, until the last picture seriously freaked me out! I didn't want to look at it in bed at 10pm!There was one story, "Ivan" which followed two men as they enter into an abandoned hotel to find the ghost of their Uncle. It was terrifying! I kept telling myself to stop reading because it was late and I'd have to turn the lights off soon.That's the mark of a good horror book!Some of the stories, especially towards the end, were so shocking! I would re-read portions of it because I couldn't believe what I actually just read and too my surprise and horror, the story said exactly what I thought it said! AHHHHHHHH! Nooooooo!!David Demchuk has a wonderful way of storytelling. It feels so real, like these stories are factual accounts of real events as the narrator experienced them-really, really effective way to freak me out, I'll tell you what!I highly, VERY highly recommend this book to all my friends who love to feel unsettled and terrified at night. The perfect Autumn read! Get it!
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  • Carol Ann
    January 1, 1970
    Horror people: read it. It's deliciously scary, creepy and unsettling. 4.5 stars.
  • Christie Owens
    January 1, 1970
    Well, this is a whole new kind of creepy for me!
  • anna
    January 1, 1970
    book: (mentions slavic influences)me: On My Way!!
  • Laurie Martin
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent read and beautifully crafted. The creepy quotient will delight lovers of the genre.The matter-of-fact, workaday language used to describe harrowing details only serves to ratchetup the horror. Do not read this book alone at night! Some of Mr. Demchuk's nightmarish characterswill follow you around long after you have put the book down.The Bone Mother
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. The stories where spooky and well told, my only fault with this book is just that mine. I do not know enough about the stories out of the Ukraine and Poland. This book made me want to look up more of the legends of that part of the world so that I would know more about what exactly each and every story was about. The other thing about this book that I loved is that there are characters in here who fall into the LGBTIQ spectrum. That is just amazing. Thank you sir.
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  • Emily A. Duncan
    January 1, 1970
    I finished this last night and then didn't sleep at all. Utterly claustrophobic and delightfully creepy while bordering on flat out horrific. Less a coherent narrative and more a selection of overlaying vignettes that range from the uncomfortable to the disturbing. The Slavic flavor made it all the better.
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  • Tynan
    January 1, 1970
    Haunting, eerie and beautifully disturbing.
  • Justin Stayshyn
    January 1, 1970
    Chilling! If you're looking for satisfying horror that you can pick up and put down when you need a scare I highly recommend this novel. Each story builds on the last as if Demchuk is casting a spell from Baba Yaga's own ghastly book of incantations. Keep the lights on for this one (I did).
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  • Emmy
    January 1, 1970
    This was one of those books that didn't turn out the way I thought it would. From the start, it hit the ground running. While I thought the basic premise of the first story was a bit odd (view spoiler)[(Two brothers live in a village where the men far outnumber the women, so they marry each other). Why did they need to marry each other? They're already related! And it clearly wasn't for love, or to have children or political motives. (hide spoiler)], I was quickly drawn into the rest of the book This was one of those books that didn't turn out the way I thought it would. From the start, it hit the ground running. While I thought the basic premise of the first story was a bit odd (view spoiler)[(Two brothers live in a village where the men far outnumber the women, so they marry each other). Why did they need to marry each other? They're already related! And it clearly wasn't for love, or to have children or political motives. (hide spoiler)], I was quickly drawn into the rest of the book, and I really loved how the quick, bite-sized stories meant that the pacing never really slackened. However, about halfway through, it started to get a bit...weird. Now, I know this is fantasy/horror, so weird is good, and certainly expected, but I was turned-off by a lot of the references to pedophilia and child abuse, as well as (at the risk of sounding like a prude) sex scene from one of the later stories. Not what I'm looking for in a book.Would have given the first half of the book 5 stars, but dropped it down to three because of the complaints listed above. Not a horrible book, but not one that I'll be recommending. Very disappointed. It had so much promise. And I loved the use of old photographs at the start of each chapter, even though it felt like a rip-off of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
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  • Ann Theis
    January 1, 1970
    PW
  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    See my other reviews at Never Enough BooksOn the Ukrainian/Romanian border lie three tiny neighboring villages. They are the final refuge for the mythical creatures that walk among us. With war on the horizon and the Night Police coming, these individuals have gathered for possibly the last time. They have come to tell their stories and to face their destinies.The Bone Mother is a collection of short stories that puts me in to mind of the kinds of tales that one might hear told around the campfi See my other reviews at Never Enough BooksOn the Ukrainian/Romanian border lie three tiny neighboring villages. They are the final refuge for the mythical creatures that walk among us. With war on the horizon and the Night Police coming, these individuals have gathered for possibly the last time. They have come to tell their stories and to face their destinies.The Bone Mother is a collection of short stories that puts me in to mind of the kinds of tales that one might hear told around the campfire. They are stories that set ones hair on end and make one look a little closer at the shadows. These are stories that are wonderfully creepy and speak to the scared child in all of us.Demchuk has done an excellent job in creating a series of stories that are both creepy and captivating. Readers will recognize fairy tale characters such as the selkie and Baba Yaga, but will also meet new characters such as the Bone Mother.The only quibble I had was the lack of an overall plot line. While the blurb on the back of the book makes mention of one, I could not recognize one while reading the book. Yes, a handful of the stories make mention of the Night Police but it only in passing and without great detail. Who are the Night Police and what do they want with these people? Where are they from? Who do they answer to? Answering, or at least expounding on the ideas surrounding the Night Police would have greatly helped, in my opinion.Overall, I enjoyed The Bone Mother. While it is not for the faint of heart, readers who like a good campfire tale will likely enjoy this book. I cannot recommend to every reader, but I can recommend it to most. I hope to see more from Demchuk in the future as he shows a great deal of promise.
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