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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Stuck in a hole where no one could help her, Susie was trapped. The more she screamed the more it hurt. She slowly came to realize that this was going to be her death. “As he kissed his wet lips down on [her] face and neck and then began to shove his hands up under [her] shirt, [she] wept. [She] began to leave [her] body….[she] wept and struggled so [she] would not feel.” The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is a narrative told from heaven by Susie Salmon a 14 year old girl who has just been raped and murdered. When I picked up this book I never thought it was going to be so intense. In the very first chapter the rape and murder take place, setting a disturbing tone through the rest of the chapters. It’s sad, traumatic, original, and very touching. This book was definitely worth my while. The drama was very entertaining and the way Sebold wrote the book made me feel like part of the Salmon family- just thinking about the pain and sorrow they felt.
Alice Sebold is now one of my favorite writers of all time. While she was in college her freshman year, she was raped. She then wrote a memoir about it and called it Lucky because a policeman told her that she was lucky to be alive. Her second book was The Lovely Bones which was similar to her first book but the narrative is told in different ways. In 2004 The Lovely Bones won the Richard and Judy Best Read Award, given by the British Book Awards. Sebold also won the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction in 2003and the Bram Stoker Award for First Novel in 2002. She was also nominated in the Novel category in that year.
Sebold uses a lot of imagery through out the book; the book has an obvious grasp of language. “He felt a calm flood him. He kept the lights out in the bathroom and felt the warm

water wash [her] away and he felt thoughts of [her] then. [Her] muffled scream in his ear. [Her] delicious death moan.” Sebold uses flashbacks through the novel to switch back and forth to when Susie was on earth and to her present time when she’s in heaven. This helps the reader understand the characters better - it shows Mr. Harvey as something else rather than just a murderer, you get a glimpse of his childhood and the troubles he went through in his life. It almost makes you feel sorry for him. There are many symbols in the book -the charm bracelet represents Susie, another symbol is her room a place where she will always be alive to her family. The imagery Sebold uses is so descriptive it’s scary. “He had put [her] in a waxy cloth sack…tumbled together with [her] knees fingers and toes…”

After reading the novel I would sincerely recommend it to anyone who is willing to read about real problems. The book overall has a great message that perhaps happy endings don’t exist for everyone, but people are served justice. The Lovely Bones is one of the best fiction books I have read. It displays an average family that is broken apart by torment and grief from their daughter’s murder. The minute I picked up the book I soon came to realize that I was in a whole new world with new feelings and thoughts – Sorrow, Revenge, Grief, and Happiness. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is by far one of my all time favorite books.





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