Release Date: April 2004 (Trade Paperback)
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (Hatchette Book Group)
Pages: 352 (Trade Paperback)
Author Site: http://www.barclayagency.com/sebold.html
My Rating: 4/5
I had heard that THE LOVELY BONES was different; powerfully written and a favorite of many. I picked it up before I knew there was a movie being released. But after finding that out I quickly put it at the top of my TBR list.
I'm kind of at a loss for words about the book. I liked it, a lot as a matter of fact. I think you should read it if you haven't already and maybe even re-read it if you have. It's that good. I'm one all for different and unique story-telling. Immediately the reader knows that the narrator, Susie, is dead. They can find that out without even opening the book...But in no way does that take any suspense or meaning out of the story.
The victim of a rape and murder, Susie Salmon (Salmon just like the fish) ascends to heaven. The way heaven is portrayed in the novel is not entirely new but was very interesting to read about. Susie's personalized heaven looks a lot like her old neighborhood. The people she comes across are in their own version of heaven that just happens to overlap hers. She finds out that she can have anything she wants in heaven - except she can't ever grow up.
From heaven, Susie is able to watch over her friends and family. Her grief-stricken father struggles to love his remaining two children while still holding on to his little Susie. Her sister, Lindsey, is determined not to be defined as the dead girl's sister. She refuses to let the loss of Susie overwhelm her. Her younger brother Buckley, doesn't understand the meaning of death just yet. And her mother realizes that she may not have really wanted to be a mother.
Two of Susie's classmates feel the loss just as strongly. Ray Singh and Ruth Connors who are developed so well throughout the story. It's with Susie's eyes that the reader is able to watch everyone try to move on in life. The terrible struggles one must go through after the loss of someone dear, the frustration of not being able to make things better, and the heartbreak of watching relationships fall apart are all confronted head on by Sebold. But in the end I found that the message of love - be it familial, romantic, or friendship - can both hurt and heal lives.
My advice to you: Read It! If the characters don't grab you, I think the writing will.
I'm looking forward to the movie. I think there is a lot of promise with the chosen cast. I'll definitely be picking up Alice Sebold's memior LUCKY, and her other book THE ALMOST MOON.