Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"A Room Full of Bones"

Elly Griffiths’s Ruth Galloway novels have been praised as “highly atmospheric” (New York Times Book Review), “remarkable” (Richmond Times-Dispatch), and “gripping” (Louise Penny).

Griffiths applied the Page 69 Test to her latest novel, A Room Full of Bones, and reported the following:
On page 69 of A Room Full of Bones my heroine, Dr Ruth Galloway, is drinking coffee. I’ve noticed that my characters drink a lot of both coffee and wine, probably because I do myself. Ruth has also bought a doughnut but she doesn’t want to eat it in front of her boss, Phil, because he has a slim gorgeous girlfriend who happens to be one of Ruth’s best friends. I have been surprised - and delighted - at how much people like Ruth, partly because she isn’t slim and gorgeous. Ruth wants to be thinner but she doesn’t want it enough to stop eating and I think people can relate to that.

Phil is telling Ruth about a collection of Indigenous Australian relics at a local museum. Ruth knows the museum well as she recently discovered the curator lying dead beside a medieval coffin, but she doesn’t know about the Aborigine artefacts. These relics, which are actually human bones, are at the very core of the story. Is it right for museums to hold human remains? For Indigenous Australians it is very important that their dead are buried in the ancestral land so that they can enter the next life, or The Dreaming. Is it right for the ancestors to lie behind glass in a backstreet museum? Someone in this book thinks that it is very wrong indeed.
Learn more about the book and author at Elly Griffiths's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Crossing Places.

My Book, The Movie: The House at Sea’s End.

--Marshal Zeringue