Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Lovely Bones Review

Title: The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Pages: 328

Published: 2002
Reading Level: Young Adult/Adult

These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence...

My name was Salmon, like the fish, first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer.

This is Susie Salmon, speaking to us from heaven. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. There are counsellors to help newcomers to adjust, and friends to room with. Everything she wants appears as soon as she thinks of it - except the thing she wants most: to be back with the people she loved on earth.

From heaven, Susie watches. She sees her happy suburban family implode after her death, as each member tries to come to terms with the terrible loss. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet. 

Amber's thoughts:
First of all, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though I didn't give it five hearts. The characters are so captivating, and the story quickly becomes addictive. Sebold does such an awesome job of creating realistic characters. It feels like Susie's story was really her own, and I could easily believe that she had a past before she was murdered. 

This book reminds me of a car crash- you know, the one where the cars are completely totaled and people were injured or killed. Even though it's a horrific sight, every car on the highway slows down to catch a glimpse. We're grateful that it didn't happen to us, even though we feel for the victims. Why is it that we are so fascinated by tragedies? Susie's murder was extremely disturbing, yet I couldn't seem to stop reading. Unlike the many supernatural and fantasy novels I read, the killer in this book was just an ordinary man. Things like this happen every day, and that kept me thinking long into the night. 

When I picked up this novel, I was immediately sucked into the middle of a family catastrophe. In the beginning, everything is falling apart. The Salmon's foundation is crumbling, and everything that can go wrong goes wrong. Then, with the help of friends and family, they begin to pick up the pieces. They remember how to love, how to move on, how to live. A wonderful new life blossoms out of the old. I think that this was what Sebold was trying to tell us- life is life. We have to keep living, no matter what. 

The Lovely Bones was a powerful book. That's the best way to describe it. Trust me, read this and you won't regret it. 

1 comment:

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

I absolutely LOVE this book. One of my all-time favourites. It's very sad, but so meaningful. Great review!