Book Review: The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou

Published by NeWest Press

Release Date: July 1, 2007

Fiction, 235 pages

Goodreads Description:

Digger, an 85 kilo wrestler, and Sadie, a 26-year-old speed swimmer, stand on the verge of realizing every athlete’s dream–winning a gold medal at the Olympics. Both athletes are nearing the end of their athletic careers, and are forced to confront the question: what happens to athletes when their bodies are too old and injured to compete? The blossoming relationship between Digger and Sadie is tested in the all-important months leading up to the Olympics, as intense training schedules, divided loyalties, and unpredicted obstacles take their draining toll. The Olympics, as both of them are painfully aware, will be the realization or the end of a life’s dream.

The Bone Cage captures the physicality, sensuality, and euphoric highs of amateur sport, and the darker, cruel side of sport programs that wear athletes down and spit them out at the end of their bloom. With realism and humour, author Angie Abdou captures athletes on the brink of that transition–the lead-up to that looming redefinition of self–and explores how people deal with the loss of their dream.

I’ve recently read Angie Abdou’s The Bone Cage for my university English literature class, and I really wanted to share my thoughts on it. This novel follows the struggles of both Sadie and Digger on their trials and training for the Olympics. Digger is a wrestler, and faces not only his own struggles, but his friends as well. The story mainly follows Sadie, a swimmer since her youth who discovers moral conflicts as well as personal setbacks leading up to the Olympics.

Overall the plot was well written, although this was a short novel and a quick read there was multiple important messages throughout. However, I did feel that since the chapters were so short, it really cut the momentum while reading.

This novel was largely based on character development of both of the main characters. The lessons that Sadie and Digger both learn, about growing up, living life, and having a goal are relatable, and well portrayed.

The dialogue was interesting, and the relationships that Sadie had with people in her life were different from the relationships that Digger had. The parent relationships were also interesting to see, and ultimately gave me a whole new perspective on our country’s athletes.

I enjoyed the poems and other bits that Sadie thought about while swimming. Her English literature degree was interesting to hear about, and how her mind wondered while in the pool for so many hours in a day.

Overall this was an outstanding novel on perspective and our countries athletes. I give this well written novel 4/5 stars, and recommend it to anyone who loves sports, or knows someone who loves sports.

Thanks for reading! Mara x


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