Monday, February 1, 2010

Review of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold


When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in Heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn't happen. In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief, her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor and begin the difficult process of healing. In the hands of a brilliant novelist, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful and touching story about family, memory, love, Heaven, and living."
This book for me was... A pleasant reminder of why I typically stray and stay in the science fiction and fantasy section of a book store. That is not to say that I did not like it. On the contrary, this story sat in me like a heavy stone weighing me down for its entirety and as I turned the last page and sat the book down it was like all at once that weight was lifted. So, in that way the story did what we all want stories to do and that is take us away. This is just a place that I typically don't like to go. The words and thoughts of Susie Salmon caused me to tear up and break down my own thoughts on how I viewed something that I don't often think about, but happens everyday all around us. Death. This story shows you only one possible path of destruction a horrible incident like what happened to the Salmon Family. But the grief each individual family member felt was completely different from the other. It's like the the book pulls you with the characters turbulent emotions in 8 directions at once. I especially liked the parts of the book about Susie's sister Lindsey. She would be one of those people I would consider being the bravest sort of person. Having a daughter of my own made Jack Salmon's part in the story the hardest to get through. Whether you say it is slow or fast (I personally, think that I read to slow) the roughly figured 5 hours it took me to read this plus the in between time that I was not reading but yet thinking about it, was far to long to be focused on one dreaded thing... This story or a very close version of it... could be mine. I have no sympathy in my being for the people of this world like Mr. Harvey. And I walk away from this book with new found rage and personal hate for his kind.

As always, thanks to the author Alice Sebold for providing me with some of the greatest writing entertainment!

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