The Lovely Bones Review

October 1, 2009
By , Plano, TX
Rape is something that not very many people get the horror of going through. Alice Sebold is one of few that went through this nightmare and wrote about the torture she experienced in her first book Lucky. The Lovely Bones is Alice Sebold’s second published book and is her best selling novel. Sebold’s third and last book she has written is The Almost Moon. Alice Sebold has won the Bram Stoker Award for her first novel in 2002 and the America’s Bookseller Association Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction in 2003. In 2002, she was also nominated in the Novel category.
The Lovely Bones is told from Susie’s point of view as she is in heaven overseeing her family and friends. She watches as they are living through the rough times of her death. Sebold starts off with a great realistic beginning allowing the reader to get the chance to feel what the family and friends of Susie felt as they were dealing with her loss. Susie Salmon, “like the fish” – as she stated in the first line - was 14 at the time when she was raped and murdered by her creepy neighbor Mr. Harvey in his man-made underground cave. He had raped many girls before Susie and would move away after he killed them. For example he killed a young waitress inside a tin-roofed shack in Connecticut. Throughout the book Sebold uses great diction and vivid descriptions to describe the feelings each character feels as they are coping with Susie’s loss. The reader was able to feel the pain Susie felt as “Mr. Harvey made [her] lie still underneath him and listen to the beating of his heart and the beating of [hers]” until “the end came.” (Sebold 14, 15) Sebold writes about Susie’s outlook as she watches her younger sister, Lindsey, and a school classmate, Ruth, grow up and find comfort in boys. Susie’s mother, Abigail, betrays her husband and kids as she moves across the country to start a new life. Sebold uses great word choice as she writes about Susie watching everyone grow and move on after her death. Susie watches as Lindsey grows up and “collects [her] college diploma.” (Sebold 232) She states that by “watching [Lindsey] [she] found [she] could get lost more than with anyone else.” (Sebold 232) Towards the end of the book, everything ends up going back into place: Abigail comes back, Susie’s dad gets better, Lindsey finds a great guy she is interested in, and Ruth, and Susie’s crush, Ray, become best friends.
The Lovely Bones is an amazing novel that was well written by Alice Sebold. The organization of the book helps the reader to comprehend the overall story. At times it does get a little confusing trying to figure out if Susie is talking about what is going on in heaven or what she is looking at on Earth. I would definitely recommend this book to any teenage girl interested in a good read.

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