Daniel Galera – The Shape of Bones

Daniel Galera – The Shape of Bones

Porto Alegre, early in the morning. A man gets up to meet his friend for a hiking trip. He does not wake up his wife or child. Yet, instead of getting to the meeting point, he decides to go somewhere else. A place he left years ago. A place of his past, where one day, he decided to become to man he is now. While getting closer to his destination, memories of the past, long ago buried deep in his brain, come to the surface and he has to face the worst moment of his life again. Today, he needs to do something about it, but can he ever correct what he has done wrong so long ago?

I needed some time to get into the novel. At first, I could not really get together the two plot lines and then I was not really sure which of the boys of the past is the man we get to know in the present. However, while reading and while slowing understanding Daniel Galera’s narrative, more and more suspense is created and you get curious to know what happened, what made him to man we see now.

From the innocent cyclist, he turns into a carefree teenager who enjoys himself with his friends. At the end, he is a rational, rather unemotional and very controlled adult. The relationship with his wife seems to be hardly affectionate, I was not sure if their marriage was already at an end or if this was really due to his character. In his profession, he is considered a prodigy. The doctor who everybody wants to consult, who can communicate with the patients and who is selflessly sacrificing his life for others. Yet, we slowly learn about his dark sides and the decisive point in his life which is not only a surprise, but also a very convincing explanation for how the character could develop in this way.

All in all, not a novel you can easily access, but it is worth the effort to get a complex psychological analysis of a very interesting character.