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A young woman walks alone through a barren landscape in a time before history, a time of cataclysmic natural change. She is cold, hungry and with child but not without hope or resources. A skilful hunter, she draws on her intuitive understanding of how to stay alive… and knows that she must survive.
In present-day London, geneticist Dr Eloise Kluft wrestles with an ancient conundrum as she unravels the secrets of a momentous archaeological find. She is working at the forefront of contemporary science but is caught in the lonely time-lock of her own emotional past.
Bone Lines is the story of two women, separated by millennia yet bound by the web of life. A tale of love and survival – of courage and the quest for wisdom – it explores the nature of our species and asks what lies at the heart of being human.
Although partly set during a crucial era of human history 74,000 years ago, Bones Lines is very much a book for our times. Dealing with themes from genetics, climate change and migration to the yearning for meaning and the clash between faith and reason, it also paints an intimate portrait of who we are as a species. The book tackles some of the big questions but requires no special knowledge of any of the subjects to enjoy.
Alternating between ancient and modern timelines, the story unfolds through the experiences of two unique characters: One is a shaman, the sole surviving adult of her tribe who is braving a hazardous journey of migration, the other a dedicated scientist living a comfortable if troubled existence in London, who is on her own mission of discovery.
The two are connected not only by a set of archaic remains but by a sense of destiny – and their desire to shape it. Both are pioneers, women of passion, grit and determination, although their day to day lives could not be more different. One lives moment by moment, drawing on every scrap of courage and ingenuity to keep herself and her infant daughter alive, while the other is absorbed by work, imagination and regret. Each is isolated and facing her own mortal dangers and heart-rending decisions, but each is inspired by the power of the life force and driven by love.
Bone Lines stands alone as a novel but also marks the beginning of the intended ‘Children of Sarah’ series.
“Gracefully written… a brave and moving adventure of the imagination.” – Lindsay Clarke, author of The Chymical Wedding
“A monument to the timelessness of human nature, and a work of art... a masterpiece of pacing. Bretherton ignites her characters with a life, complexity, a personality with which any number of readers will identify and empathise with.” – Naomi Moore, Editor, New Orbit literary magazine
“Bretherton weaves a cat’s cradle of human history, from the panoramic overview to day-to-day existence. An accomplished debut... one to watch.” – Su Bristow, author of Sealskin
“Opening up new worlds... what powerful fiction does best... a novel to be appreciated on many different levels. Ambitious and brave yet effortlessly pulled off... Like Sapiens... if fictionalised and seen through the eyes of two fierce and admirable women.” – Zero Filter Books
"A brilliant, genre-defying read, Bone Lines deftly unravels the wonder of oneness." – Barbara Bos, Editor, Women Writers, Women’s Books.
“Compelling... the story drew me in completely... a fascinating read.” – Cheryl Morgan-Muir, book blogger