The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

October 1, 2009
More by this author
Depicted through the eyes of a 14 year old girl named Susie Salmon, this fiction book, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, portrays a family’s journey through a traumatic experience. Alice Sebold, the author, wrote many books and majored in writing at Syracuse University. The main idea of the book was based off of her personal experience and she wanted to write about it to let others know the seriousness and alarming effects it could have to all the people around the victim. She was known for her memoir Lucky, and she was the awarded the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction in 2002. This book, The Lovely Bones, is also being turned into a motion film.

Although the book is mainly about the murder that occurred, the book develops a deeper side to it and further expands on the feelings all the characters have about this event. One way to achieve this result was the use of different point of views. The story is mainly told through the eyes of Susie Salmon, but every now and then there would be another chapter inserted in between hers that described the same event from someone else’s view, such as her brother, Buckley, or her sister Lindsey.
The different chapters showed significant difference in not only diction, but also in the way things were interpreted. As readers, we can relate to this and understand that because it’s what happens in real life. The way each character talks in the book is also unique, giving them their own characteristics and personality. Interpretation of a certain event can be abstract and from this we can see that a younger person’s point of view is different from a grown-ups point of view, or likewise, a person who went through a traumatic experience will respond differently to a person who hasn’t. All these factors come into play and readers realize that this serves as a parallel to the real world.
Alice Sebold’s voice is evident throughout the whole novel. Her main point was to show people that even though an event like this could happen, if you’re strong and you’re willing to pull through in the end, you will achieve your goal. Because this book is based on her personal experience, the theme, rape, is what triggered this novel to happen. Most people would want to keep quiet about this kind of event, but Alice Sebold wanted to let everyone know that violence and events like this happens occurs no matter how we try to suppress it. And in order to fully grasp the whole concept of the book, readers must prepare themselves and know that these unfortunate events do happen in real life. Through the characters’ feelings, Alice Sebold tells us we shouldn’t cower away from ugly things and ignore them, instead we should find away to overcome this obstacle. Her choice of words was excellent and she portrayed Susie’s rollercoaster emotions very well. Although the book wasn’t fast paced, the main character, Susie, came alive after only a few chapters because of the characteristics that developed her character.

In my opinion, the book was a good read and made a point with the tragedy that could occur after a murder. Alice Sebold really captured all the details and made the characters come alive by giving them individuality. I recommend this book to anyone who’s interested in solving a mystery and wants to read a heartfelt fiction novel about the strength of love and family.

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