The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

October 1, 2009
One thing that makes children so different from adults is their innocence. It’s that very innocence that defines the child and their growth. People lose that innocence with the experiences they go through with, be it sex, love, hatred, or sadness. People see the world as a more harsh place than children could ever imagine. They view the world as a beautiful place with no faults. Susie, the main character, of the Lovely Bones thought the world was perfect until she was murdered.

Susie Salmon is the average young teen. She’s fairly tall and skinny with mousy blonde hair and what her father calls, “Ocean Eyes”. Susie lives with her parents and her brother and sister. Her life went by normally and nothing out of the ordinary ever happened until December 6, 1973. Susie was raped and killed by her neighbor Mr. Harvey. Lovely Bones is told after she dies and the events that follow. Susie tells the reader her story from her “heaven” as she watches her family be torn apart and lose the love that once bonded them all together.

Sebold gives the reader a unique look of the afterlife with her writing. Readers will like her wording for the novel, using ordinary words and diction instead of pure fluff. Susie dies and a little part of her family dies as well. Sebold gives no softness but gives a reality to the reader of just so easily life can shatter. Sebold lets all of her characters speak and give them their own time to tell their story, and that is one thing that differs this novel from the rest. Alice Sebold takes the reader into the world and mind of all of the main characters in the book. We see the world through their eyes, feel the pain as their world shatters, and live through the death of their loved one. Sebold makes the feelings of all the characters known in the book and gives an attitude from her own experiences through trauma into the book.
On the last day of her freshman year in college, Sebold was taken into a dark tunnel and was brutally raped by a man she did not know. When she finally confessed to her family what had happened, everyone fell out of their loop. They were all put into a shock that even Sebold, 10 yrs afterwards, could not shake out of. Like this experience, Sebold shows the audience just how one event can destroy everything that a family knew.

The Lovely Bones is, indeed, a truly captivating story that has an underlying theme that people must never lose hope as it may be vital with getting by day after day. We see Susie watch her family go through hell and all the fire and end with a nice soft note that leaves the reader satisfied with the novel. Lovely Bones is a book every teen girl should read as it teaches that though the worst might happen, you must stay strong. This is a book that anyone of both genders may read. It was inspirational to me and made me feel better in my own home situation. Sebold clearly understands what issues people maybe going through but she leaves us with the will to stand tall and pursue.

“She needed the time to know that this love would not destroy her, and I had, I now knew, given her that time, could give it, for it was what I had in great supply.” Sebold did not lose hope in her trails with her rape and Susie never lost the hope that her family may one day be healed.





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