The Lovely Bones

>> Friday, May 27, 2011

Author: Alice Sebold
Recommended Age: Adult
Publisher: Bach Bay Books
ISBN-10: 0316168815
ISBN-13: 978-0316168816
Year Published: 2007
No. Pages: 328
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Main Character Gender: Female
Read & Reviewed by: Maren

“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.”

The Lovely Bones begins with Susie, and her arrival in her new home: heaven, a place that is different for everyone. Susie’s heaven is based on a gazebo that was in the mall, the place that she was headed to meet a boy, but was murdered instead. From above, she watches her murderer, the man living only a couple of doors down from her family, the one who lured her into his trap to kill her, plan for his next victims. She observes how each of her family members deals with her death differently and tracks the progress of the investigation of her murderer. 

 I liked how Alice Sebold wrote this book: it was unfolded in what would have been Susie’s life, had she lived. From heaven Susie sees how her friends and siblings grow up without her. It shows how Susie’s death affects her family and friends long after she actually died.

I don’t know how this novel would have worked out if it weren’t written in first person. With Susie and her life in heaven, watching life on Earth, thoughts and feelings are an essential element. I think that first person is the best way of showing thoughts and feelings, instead of someone else telling you how the character feels, they tell you themselves. Also Susie’s voice is unique, in that it offers a detached, yet personal view of the story as it evolves. From heaven, she is able to see what each character is doing and offer an omnipotent viewpoint.

The Lovely Bones is a heartfelt realistic fiction novel that is worth reading over and over again. I think everyone, both males and females, deserve the opportunity to read it. Keep in mind that it does contain serious themes such as murder and rape. It amazes me that Sebold could take such a tragic subject and transform it into a mesmerizing piece of literature. The novel with a story of unimaginable horror, but in the end I found it to be a story that conveys a complicated beauty. I give this book a ten out of ten.   

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