One Life, One Incarnation – Beautiful Bones


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Beautiful bones. Rare in this world.

Those with bone do not have skin. Those with skin do not have bone.

Most people’s eyes are shallow, seeing only the skin-deep appearance and not the ‘bones,’ the appearance of the inside.”

The “bones” and “skin” are metaphorical and taken from an ancient text in which these are actually referring to inner and outer beauty, respectively. Most people are shallow and only see outward beauty and fail to acknowledge inner beauty.

The female lead, Shi Yi, has memories of her past life in which her heart belonged to Zhousheng Chen. That life ended in tragedy for them, and in this life, her only goal and desire is to find him again… and one day, she does. He does not look the same, but she knows that beneath the outer appearance, it is him. He, however, does not remember her.

Associated Names
One entry per line
ทุกชาติภพ กระดูกงดงาม
Related Series
Life: A Black and White Film (Shared Universe)
Mulberry Song (2)
Faithful to Buddha, Faithful to You (1)
Mei Gongqing (1)
To Be A Virtuous Wife (1)
Together Forever (1)
Golden Age Legitimate Fei (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Personal favs
  2. Straight Reads
  4. Ancient is Gold!
  5. Mystery, Josei, Romance, Slice of Life

Latest Release

Date Group Release
10/21/15 Hui3r weibo random scenes...
10/10/15 Hui3r epilogue 3 +...
10/07/15 Hui3r epilogue 2
10/03/15 Hui3r epilogue 1
09/30/15 Hui3r final chapter
09/26/15 Hui3r c17.3
09/23/15 Hui3r c17.2
09/19/15 Hui3r c17.1
09/16/15 Hui3r c16.3
09/12/15 Hui3r c16.2
09/09/15 Hui3r c16.1
09/05/15 Hui3r c15.3
09/02/15 Hui3r c15.2
08/29/15 Hui3r c15.1
08/26/15 Hui3r c14.3
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32 Reviews

Demonic Reader lv 451F
Demonic Read
Sep 01, 2016
Status: Completed
From the Author's rumble

The idiom, 细水长流, literally meaning “thin streams of water will flow for a long time” is often used to describe this type of love. Hoju’s views on that: It’s not a raging waterfall or rapids that overcome and engulf you, like the passionate type of love that is often featured in romance stories and hits us hard, like a waterfall, but love that is demonstrated in small details and over time, grows deeper and deeper, like a thin stream of water that flows gently over a rock,... more>> slowly, over time, cutting a pathway into it without anyone even noticing. A flash flood may come quickly and bowl you over, but that thin stream of water is slow and steady but never lets up until one day, you see it has cut right into the heart of the stone.

Yes! The story is something like the slow, cool, gentle stream flowing through the peaceful flower valley. If your heart yearn for the fast action, exciting scene, exploding drama.. Don't pick this novel yet. Find good tea, sipping slowly while watching calm sunset. Sleep serenely. Walk leisurely through the park. Find some quiet spot to rest your mind. Then, read, slow read. Read like you're enjoying the exotic wine, not like gulping down gallon of the cheap rice alcohol.

Then, all the romances'll be with you. <<less
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Mar 13, 2016
Status: --
The MC is a sweet and simple girl who only wishes to see the man she loved in her past life and be near him. While she does chase after him, her rather unambitious request is easily granted and she spends the rest of the story by his side as a supportive and demure wife. The male lead is a mature and efficient man of few words but shows his affections through his actions. Overall it’s a very slow and gentle romance – ideal for people to experience but a... more>> very dull read.

The plot would be more interesting if they had fleshed out either the male lead’s background or their past life earlier in the story (or shortened the story and left both out). The author intentionally distances her characters from the latter to prove the strength of their current relationship, but the female lead constantly refers their past, uses her past skills and makes comparisons... so she may as well write it out. It’s also more compelling than the main story since things actually happen in their past life. The male lead’s background also could’ve been played up more, rather than tacked on at the end like a soap opera.

Constantly wavering between 2/5 and 3/5 for anything written by this author. While there is nothing particularly objectionable, it’s so boring and the characters and story lack personality. It would’ve been better if their interactions either carried more depth, or humour, drama or anything really.

Other Notes:

Having read Really, Really Miss You and Still Not Wanting to Forget by the same author, I found that her stories had similar faults in that the characters are quite rigid in expressing their affections (the author really struggles with conversations), the length of the story is too long for the unambitious plot and the passive acceptance of the female leads appear more like admiration and respect rather than love. The tone and style is also quite similar (equally dull).

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Jul 14, 2020
Status: c8.2
Here's the deal, if you want an entirely independent woman who leads with her own life she's concerned with and have a romance with this one guy she had a past life with, it's not this book. (It's admirable how she takes most of the initiative however) She's not super clingy at all but she also loves him so much that it's like she has no other feelings as long as she can accommodate to him (he does try for her too tho but not in the same degree when... more>> we tall about his family). It's unrealistic only in the sense that no feelings feel deep. There's more telling than showing. As far as I'm reading, there are no conflicting feelings shown, it gets blown past very easily. Although if she was human or if the writing showed her character more to explain her better she would be more understandable why she almost never shows deep negative emotions towards anything at her or around her.


I'm struggling here. I'm all down for the idea of a "gentle stream" ML/romance. But... Ok I understand all the compromises she makes and understanding she has for the ML, but really, maybe I'm petty but I feel like she's excusing way too much behavior due to her love for him.

Per example (not exact words but basically),


(before even becoming friends,) I have read and gathered all info for each year of your life. I know everything about your family


Her: oh yeah, but I know don't anything about you. But yeah I get it, it's fine (who cares about my privacy I lub u)


(before their official engagement, during an emergency) I got you 4 passports, we're already registered as married without me telling you


Her: yeah it's fine, I understand. I trust you completely. I know you're trying to protect me [me: valid but can you get a little angry bc ya know communication, consent etc?]

Her: not angry,

when reminded they have been registered married already without her prior consent, omg he's my husband nowwwwwww ahhhh yayyyy


Me: COOL. I get it. He's "cute" he's considerate while maintaining absolute mystery on anything important BUT ITS FINE BC U LOVE HIM SINCE A PAST LIFE I GET IT, you're very very forgiving yes you said that. Fine.

So honestly, this could all be more understandable why she's so blindly in love with him if there was a section in the beginning narrating some romance or heartbreak or tragic relationship between them in great detail so we can be like "aw yes he's cute, finally you can be with him or something"

Maybe it's just me being petty with some human standards of privacy, communication, and trust because the translator (who did a great job) and commenters are like "wow he's so ideal and romantic"

Me: I can technically understand that but I don't necessarily feel that.

When it comes down to it, I wish the book would be structured better for an overall better emotional feeling and understanding towards the book. <<less
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May 27, 2017
Status: Completed
Interspersed with a lot of Chinese Literary poetry and art references, OLOI - Beautiful Bones is worth a read. The premise was very interesting in that she retains memories of a previous life with her and the ML. It didn't seem to follow through down that road though. The MC appears

like she's straight out of a period setting, stuck in the modern world. The only purpose the memories served were to find her old flame and impress him/his family with her literary knowledge. She seems to be

content playing a demure... more>> wife to the ML - slightly different from her past life. Anyhow, this is a mellow romance that takes time to sweeten. There's no third wheel or crafty schemes at play (okay.. Maybe just one). So zero romantic angst.

What I liked were the beautiful lines thrown in from time to time. So meaningful, so poignant. I liked that the ML was not earth shatteringly handsome but a nerd interested only in his research. The author succeeds in creating an atmosphere that feels like time has slowed down. It was interesting to read.

There were parts I didn't enjoy too much. As many have said before, the pace is very slow so not many would have the patience for it. I almost dropped the book somewhere around the middle.

The ML's background is vague and sometimes things go way over the top. The second brother's scheme was WTF - what was that? Poor Wang Man who ended up losing the baby!

I also thought Wen Xing's devotion to Mei Xing was really touching. Mei Xing's love for the MC as well - very subtle but it is a definite repeat of their past life.

It would have been great if the past life had been explored more. For me that one last chapter was more interesting than the rest of the book.

Overall, it was good while it lasted but it wasn't

particularly moving or memorable. For example, I don't think I would remember the characters/story after a few years. <<less
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Apr 10, 2017
Status: --
This is an absolutely gorgeous beautiful and fantastical story. I have no words for how well written the characters are (especially the mc's).

I remember when it was still updating. It wasn't until no I realized I never wrote a review for it. Anyway, back then I normally wouldn't read stories like this (romance), but this, this was touching. It pulled my heart strings and I believe I shed a few years.

The drama and heartache are so real. The reincarnation ant the story of their past lives and how it ended... more>> tragically. How the male is logical while she believes in Buddha and has her memories of her past life.


You might think it's boring, but it takes while to get into the flow. Once you do it's worth it. If it's still not your cup of tea, I don't blame you. I amidst didn't read it. <<less
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Jan 15, 2016
Status: --
I really loved this novel. And I recommend it to anyone who prefer love story where there is no love rival. The story is slowly build, with a bit of mysteries.

I love the fact that she does not remember everythings and only see segments of her previous life. Also that she is not focused ONLY on her previous life but still live and encounter new things and at the same time, lives her life with detachment..


While reading this novel, it's as if I lived a dull and colorless life. And sometime there are a little bit interraction with someone not that important. But suddenly a light. A bright light, a light that makes me Alive. And then I feel the Need to follow it, to grasp it and makes me feel again. To feel. To love. To be attached to someone else. To see a place for you in his heart. To know you are something more then empty shell waiting for an end.

First love is always hard to forget. What's more if it was not fulfilled and if it was the only love of your previous life.


Anyway just read it, and if you are as empathetic as me and you enjoy love story with no angst but slow development: you'll love it.
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Feb 01, 2021
Status: weibo random scenes & radio skit
I took notice that in the review sections, either they like Beautiful Bones to the moon or they just make this masterpiece as so so read with one or two stars.

Obviously I am the former :)

MBFB is my most favorite author for romance from China, and that for some actual and justify reasons!

... more>> Well, I can't force you to like it tho. Lol. Because me too have my own cup of green tea.

However, if you can appreciate good romance reads. Then this is your cup of tea or coffee or whatever you like :)

IMO they who not understands MBFBs stories is lost some good stories. Also Hui3r is an amazing dedicated translator. She easily captured my hopeless romantic heart to get into the story very quickly.

Thank you Hui3r! <<less
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Mar 25, 2020
Status: c0
Truly a remarkable read. I read it all in one go. Everything is written just right--the characters, the pacing, the plot. I'm personally a fan of slow romances wherein the MCs take time getting to know each other, so I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Fragments of memories of her past life were fleshed out just enough for the reader to understand the characters involved, neither too much nor too little. Everything is just right.
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Jan 23, 2016
Status: ended
Well, it’s Mo Bao Fei Bao, which is pretty much a guarantee for quality in my dictionary. But it’s also more than just that. IMO, this one is probably one of her best work.

Her movie-like scenes and poetic narrative are prominently displayed in Beautiful Bones; although we actually read a novel sets in modern era with some flashes of the past, but it was like we watch a romantic historical drama with captivating scenes and characters.

Furthermore, for once, Mo Bao Fei Bao didn’t go with cliches here. Shi Yi suffered... more>> an unfortunate love in her past life. She managed to meet again with her loved one in the current world and so decided to not waste time, to stand beside him since early on. Little did she knew that in this life too, they being together will put both his and her life at stake.

Beautiful Bones got plot twist and turns that although sometimes feels a bit awkward, but in the end, everything fell into place. Like Shi Yi and Zhousheng Chen who, despite of the many challenges and gaps between them, are clearly destined for each other. No matter how many times I reread this, it's always awesome. <<less
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Kaleng Khong Guan Biscuit
Kaleng Khong
Mar 15, 2021
Status: epilogue 3
Such a beautiful story yet a little bit tragic in their last life before, but I trully recommended for anyone who search meaningfull story without rubbish.

Perfect kill! Now I'm looking another story from the same author.
2 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Jun 06, 2020
Status: Completed
Beautiful and mesmerising story. The mix of modern and ancient times is unique and done so well. The love was very touching, several parts moved me to tears, and their happiness felt so well earned. Very satisfying. High quality translation.
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Apr 15, 2020
Status: Completed
A simple, slow-moving romance. The reincarnation takes a backseat in this story.
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Aug 08, 2017
Status: c0
I think it depends on the person who reads the novel. I feel like the pace of the story was very slow, the love the ML and FL had for each was deep. But they were not the type to show physical attraction to each other which was a bore to me. They kept their feelings silently to themselves, and their love bloomed quite slowly in my opinion. Sometimes I wonder if she would have loved the ML if she did not remember her past--probably not. I forced myself to... more>> finish through this novel, it was interesting but the writing was not my cup of tea. <<less
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Jun 24, 2016
Status: --
It's alright, a bit slow but entertaining enough. I like this better than that other popular work of hers. At least the heroine does something here besides marveling, blushing and being unable to speak.
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Jun 20, 2016
Status: Completed
A beautiful romance that can't be summarized in words. I can make a detailed review pertaining to how good/bad the book was but, as I've said in my first sentence, the exquisiteness of the story can't be easily simplified in words, especially with my limited vocabulary. I can only say with confidence that if you like novels with reasonable slow-paced romance, and intricate writing that will send your emotions on a thrilling roller coaster ride, then this book will be to your taste. But even if that's not the case,... more>> there's no harm in trying. When it comes to book reading, one shouldn't be swayed by others opinions and earnestly seek what the book is about with your own eyes; only then can you discern whether it is/was worth your time. <<less
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Jan 30, 2016
Status: --
The romance is slow, but it gives you a sense of satisfaction when you pick out the little details on their progress in their relationship. The author also used many beautiful lines throughout the story, which I think is one of the highlights of the novel.

This is one of my favorite romance novels. I hope you’ll love it too.
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Jun 29, 2020
Status: Completed
Hands down, my favourite novel. And that's really saying something given that I have read so many webnovels.

I don't know how words will do justice to just how incredible it is.

It's so thoughtfully and intricately written, and I have experienced many happy moments, and shed many tears, happy and sad (not due to frustration, just due to how touching and emotional the novel is) throughout reading it (which I did, in one day, because it was that good).

Also the translation by hoju was AMAZING, with plenty of context and explanations... more>> of the historical and cultural references. You can really tell that so much care and effort was put into painstakingly translating the novel and keeping it's essence intact. Hoju's

notes and comments were the cherry on top.

Back to the novel itself...

Here are some things this novel, thankfully, does NOT have:

    • NO angst or misunderstandings between MC and ML.
    • NO aphrodisiac-fulled first encounters.
    • NO frustrating white lotuses or green tea b*tches trying to insert themselves into the MC and ML's relationship.
    • NO sudden amnesia mid-way through the novel.
    • NO abusive ML.
    • NO thoughtless MC.
    • NO filler chapters and endless blabbering for thousands of chapters (yes, we all know such novels exist).
Now, for some of the wonderful things this novel does have:

    • Beautifully written characters.
    • An intricate, thought-provoking, engaging plot that was weaved so well.
    • Sweet, slow-burn romance between MC and ML (with plenty few squeal-worthy moments).
    • A unique and well-developed set-up/premise.
    • Undercurrents of mystery which is slowly and satisfyingly revealed as the novel progresses.
    • A very satisfying ending (and epilogues)
    • I could go on...
Admittedly, in the first few chapters (up until chapter 3) I was a bit like, oh... this seems a little underwhelming, but once you get to the part where...


they get engaged, in chapter 3.1, which is segment 8/56 according to how the translator split the chapters...


things really pick up. Looking back, first few chapters were very necessary in terms of creating a solid foundation for the rest of the novel. Just thought I'd mention that in case some people read like 2 chapters and think it's slow then drop it and miss out.


(I can definitely see myself reading this over and over again. If there were a hard copy available in English, I would buy multiple copies and hand them out to all my friends and family). <<less
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May 13, 2020
Status: --
I've finished reading this long time ago. It's a bittersweet romance. I love how persistent the FL towards ML. Just as we feel like there will be misunderstanding the ML will calmly explain to FL. The ancient times memories bring a bitter taste to me so I try to skip the part as much as I can. The only character I like in this novel is FL and ML. I should've hate this kind of novel but I can't stop myself from prying further. This story made a special place... more>> in my heart. <<less
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May 03, 2020
Status: c6
The premise of the story is unique and it’s an interesting concept. However I could not stand the MC because it seem like she has no personality and only exist to please the ML. While I understand that the author probably wanted to show how strong their love but who is that brainless?
... more>>
She found out someone from ML’s family killed one of the ML’s cousin’s wife and didn’t even ask anything. ML suddenly gave her faked passports and changed her nationality, and told her she’s now his wife, MC didn’t even say anything! I get that she loves him deeply but come on!

The pace is so slow that I fell asleep every single time I have tried to read.
If you like a slow paced novel with empty-headed MC then you would probably like this. <<less
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Nov 06, 2017
Status: Completed
Slow and steady wins the race! This story is a hidden gem! It is rare to have a MC in the modern era with memory of their past life, so this was a nice reversal. Even though the story is slow, the character development is real steady and the relationship between the MC and ML is gold. I really like the background of the MC and of how it weaves into the future. I will definitely reread this novel again when I get a chance since the translation really brings... more>> out the poignant atmosphere of the characters and story. <<less
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