Thirteen-year-old Emma grows up under an Eastern European dictatorship where oppression seems eternal. When her dissident parents die in a car accident, she’s taken to an orphanage, only to be adopted soon after by a grandmother she has never met.
While her homeland is shattered by a violent revolution, Emma like a witch’s apprentice comes to learn the ways of her new grandmother, who can tell fortunes from coffee dregs, cause and heal pain at will, and shares her home with the ghost of her husband.
But this is not the main reason her grandmother is treated with suspicion and contempt by most people in town. They suspect her or her husband of having been involved in the disappearance of top secret government files.
A New York Times Editors’ Choice
Finalist for the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (France)
Finalist for the Premio von Rezzori (Italy)
Long-listed for the Prix Femina (France)
As Emma learns her family history, she begins to see that, for her grandparents, the alternate reality shaped by magic was their only form of freedom.
The Bone Fire is a political Gothic, carried along by the menace and promise of a fairy tale.
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