Amanda Curtin’s review of The Bonesetter’s Fee (January 7 2022)
What an exquisite gem of a book with which to begin a new year!
Rashida Murphy’s collection The Bonesetter’s Fee and other stories was runner-up in the 2021 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award and has been published by Spineless Wonders as part of the award prize.
The twenty stories that make up the collection—a few short enough to be considered flash fiction—are clever, quiet, surprising. Some are wickedly humorous (e.g. ‘Strands of Jupiter’), others heartbreaking (e.g. ‘When the sky breaks’). Many tell stories of truths and lies about identity—what is lost, found, forged, inherited, what is clung to, thrown away.
While there is no continuous narrative running through the collection, as I thought about the work long after turning the last page I held in my mind the image of a endearingly quiet, intelligent young girl, watching the folly around her, learning the value of words and of silence, knowing ‘a girl’s worth is not in the symmetry of her bones’. Rashida Murphy has done her justice.