The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

October 2, 2009
By olivialee BRONZE, Dallas, Texas
olivialee BRONZE, Dallas, Texas
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The Lovely Bones was published in 2002 by Alice Sebold as her second novel and it soon became an instant bestseller. Sebold won the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction in 2003 and the Bram Stoker Award for First Novel in 2002. She was also nominated in the Novel category in that year. Interestingly, her three novels; Lucky, The Lovely Bones, and Almost Moon, are all related to rape or mysterious murder. The Lovely Bones enthralled my attention by its narrator’s point of view. The narrator Susie Salmon is a fourteen years old girl who got abruptly abused and murdered by her neighbor, Mr. Harvey. Most part of the novel, Susie tells the readers what she sees, hears, and feels by watching earth from heaven. In heaven, she especially watches her family; it shows how much she cares and misses them. Alice Sebold strongly shows message of the grief in the novel.
Susie’s death affect enormously to people around her, from her family members to her friends. Each of Susie’s family members reacts differently to overcome their tragedy. Susie’s mom, Abigail Salmon, completely separates from her family and seeks for a new life; she even hopes that she has never had children or family in her life. In the other hand, Susie’s dad, Jack Salmon, no matter what kind of struggle they had, he was always there for his remained other two children and protected them. The true love in the family was also Alice Sebold’s message in the novel.

Throughout the novel, Susie doesn’t really show her feelings; even when she was watching her murderer, Mr. Harvey, she wasn’t sad or angry, instead she was she was curious and had a hope about people still on Earth. Although when the readers first meet Susie as already in heaven and doesn’t grow physically, she mentally grows throughout the novel. “ I wish you all a long and happy life. (Sebold 328)” Her growth proved when she accept her death at the end of the novel.

The story is very realistic when Jack Salmon is trying to explain his four years old where Susie is and worrying what if he can’t understand what it means by being ‘dead’. “Susie is dead, Do you know what it means? You won’t see Susie anymore, honey. None of us will. (Sebold 70)” It sincerely touched my heart when Jack Salmon cried in that moment thinking about his lost daugher and tried to convince his son. It is a heartbreaking moment for Jack that he wasn’t able to protect his daugher when she needed him. Susie’s family spent 8 years of long time in the tragedy and finally faced the reality to accept that Susie is long gone and she won’t come back anymore.
Because of the narrator was a fourteen years old girl, it was easy to understand the story. Most of the time, Alice Sebold used easy dictions and easy sentence structures as how a fourteen years old girl would talk. I highly recommend The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold to anyone who likes mysterious and suspense stories wants to know what the true love is. She also wrote the story so vividly with the specific details and when I closed my eyes, I could imagine the scene of the story.

The author's comments:
The Lovely Bones captivated me from the beginning to end. I very enjoyed reading it.

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