Mila and the Bone Man: A Novel

Lauren Roche



It wasn’t always like this… Mila cradles her mother close; only the bittersweet truth matters now but no, it wasn’t always like this.
Mila is a child of the northern bush and she has a gift. Descended from generations of Croatian healers, Mila is surrounded by a happy extended family, and delights in the sights, sounds and scents of her beloved forest, where she listens, learns, and runs free.
Tommy-next-door is a quirky kid with a passion for bones, fossils and the bush. He doesn’t see the world as others do, but nothing escapes the Bone Man. Tommy is also Mila’s best friend, but she doesn’t know that yet.
Then Mila’s life is changed for ever by a tragic accident that Mila blames herself for. The family is torn apart but it’s the events that happen after where the real tragedy takes place – events with far-reaching consequences – and Mila flees to the city, far from everything and everyone she loves.
When life and death are very close their worlds hold hands, and now, years later, forest and family call Mila back home where Tommy helps her piece together the broken bits of her life.
Powerful yet tender and beautifully imagined, Mila and the Bone Man unites enduring love with the power of healing. A novel about guilt, forgiveness and finding your way home. And the secrets we keep to protect those we love the most.

Additional information

Weight 0.9 kg
Dimensions 15.3 × 23.4 cm

About the Author

Born in Wellington in 1961, Lauren Roche has spent the last 59 years moving steadily northwards. She now lives in Tutukaka with a view of the sea and a writing room surrounded by native trees. She briefly attended Wellington High School and Epsom Girls’ Grammar schools, then – after finally growing up – returned to education via Victoria University and the University of Otago School of Medicine.
Lauren is the author of two previously published best-selling memoirs, Bent not Broken and Life on the Line. She overcame childhood trauma, working as a stripper and prostitute before turning her life around. She graduated as a medical doctor in 1991. Lauren has completed Ironman New Zealand twice, and in 2019 was a recipient of the Zonta New Zealand Woman of Achievement award.
In late 2018, after suffering the effects of a spinal cord injury, Lauren retired from general practice and began writing full time. She completed a Diploma in Advanced Writing through NorthTec in 2019 and a Master of Creative Writing in 2020 through AUT.

Look Inside

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ISBN:  9780995143890

Pages: 272

Dimensions: 234 x 153mm

Format: Limpbound

Author: Lauren Roche

Published: August 2022


“Straddling old worlds and new, Lauren Roche explores the corrosive power of guilt, the solace to be found in the natural world, and our capacity to hurt as well as to heal. Lyrical, moving, quietly compelling, Mila and the Bone Man will send its roots deep into your heart.”
– Catherine Chidgey

“A long prose poem, completely original, not a word out of place.”
– Patrick Evans