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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Tragedy, whether it be rape, murder, or just the natural death of a family member, will never come easily, and is undeniably difficult to cope with and even more troublesome to move on from. Alice Sebold is arguably one of THE ideal authors to publish a book about the rape and murder of a child, herself being raped at the tender age of eighteen and surviving. As a winner of the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year for Adult Fiction in 2003, for her novel, the Lovely Bones, it’s simple to recognize her talent in the field of literature. Graduating from Syracuse University and moving on to the University of Houston, she has since published three books, Lucky, The Lovely Bones, and The Almost Moon.

The book immediately jumps into the action and hooks the reader in fewer than fifteen pages, vivid images of a savage rape and murder were all I needed to stay enticed, “Tell me you love me,” he said. Gently I did. The end came anyway,” (Sebold 14). Fourteen year old Susie Salmon never stood a chance. The story is told from the first person point of view of Susie Salmon, living in her own personal heaven, looking down on the shattered lives of her family and friends as they age over the next ten to twenty years, scrambling to find answers and to move on. The book doesn’t skimp out any details, and describes even the tenderest situations with the boldest of diction and syntax, “I dragged his pubic hair out straight between my fingers. I held that part of him that Mr. Harvey had forced inside me,” (Sebold 307-308). Sometimes dangerously teetering on the line of going too far, but somehow always staying in bounds, exciting the reader for more of this unique voice Sebold displays throughout her novel. What makes this fiction novel stand out from others is how it touches on real world problems that people must unexpectedly face every day. Nobody can predict murder or rape, but the harsh truth is that around the world, these horrific acts are committed daily, and to have to live through something that devastating is an awe inspiring story that must be read.

From rape, to murder, to infidelity, and even to a possessed body that returns for long desired sex, this story has it all. Progressing from disbelief that Susie is gone, to a thirst for revenge, and ultimately an accidental ironic death, the plot has never a dull moment. In depth analysis of how the events unfold and affect the lives of the different characters are evident throughout, keeping the reader constantly in the loop, “My father turned but was unable to stop his tears. He slid to the floor with the sheets still in his fists, and then he opened up his arms” (Sebold 47). You can tell that Sebold has lived through an extremely hard experience by her abundance of knowledge and how in depth she is able to describe the lives of the people suffering through this tragic tale.

The ending delivers a chilling twist and does justice for the reader, and in my opinion, is quite satisfying. Long story short, buy the book, read it, and I can promise you won’t be disappointed. Many people will just read the title and assume, “that’s a chick book, a pansy story,” but it’s oh so much more. I challenge you to pick this book up start reading, and try to put it down and not finish it, let me know how it goes. An easy and interesting read for any high school English course, The Lovely Bones is like no other, what more can you ask for?





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Melovelies said...
Oct. 24, 2009 at 11:26 pm
I loved this book. And although it isn't the most pleasent book to read, I'd definitely recommend it to other people :)
 
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