The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

October 2, 2009
The Lovely Bones

“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. (pg.5)” Alice Sebold starts the book off with this attention grabbing sentence. She uses startling sentences like that all throughout the book. Sebold uses pathos to “lay claim to the hearts of millions of readers around the world.” Her diction is easy to comprehend making the book more mainstream. At the same time her diction is witty and thoughtful. For example, “but he grew tired of hearing her plead. (pg.13)” I loved this book; I especially loved the way Sebold organized and set up the point of view of this book. She cleverly organized the book with flashbacks and subplots. She has the book told from Susie’s point of view. In my opinion this makes the book more likable and heart wrenching. Hearing a little girl tell her story and help her family and friends find her killer is intriguing. Sebold can familiarize with her character Susie. Sebold was attacked, beaten and brutally raped at the age of 18. This experience is what prompted her to create The Lovely Bones and Lucky. Lucky is her second writing. It is her memoir about the unthinkable moments she went through. Through her heartaches came success. The Lovely Bones is rated a number one National Bestseller. “Here is a writer who honors fictions primary girt- the infinity of possibilities- by following her imagination to wondrous and terrifying places. (Sandstrom, Cleveland Plain Dealer)” Sebold does a fantastic job of developing the main characters: Susie, Jack, Abigail, Lindsey, Mr. Harvey, Samuel, Ruth, and Ray.
Susie’s death brings a lot of characters to change. Lindsey starts to open up and lets Samuel take her heart. Jack steps up and becomes the father he should have always been. One of the only parts of the book I felt didn’t work was how Sebold changed Abigail. Abigail, the mother, felt the need to just “go away, start over again. (279)” She abandoned her family when they needed her most. Most of the book seems like it could have actually happened, except that part. Even though I didn’t like specific parts of it, I would totally recommend it to my family and friends. I loved how Sebold carefully revealed information about Mr. Harvey and the crimes he committed. She took him from New Jersey to Connecticut and other places. The story was based in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Sebold also cleverly allows us to feel what Susie feels as she is up in her “heaven.” This book is very much worth reading.

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