The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold gives a different perspective on death, grief, and love. Susie Salmon narrates the story from Heaven, missing her family, wanting to be able to grow up, and trying to cope with letting go. She watches her family’s life unravel after her gruesome murder. The novel begins with the details of how she died. The neighbor that everyone thought was a little strange lured her into a “clubhouse” he built under a cornfield to which he claims to have made for the kids in the neighborhood. That’s where things went wrong. After Susie is killed, she does not want to let go of her family. She tries to help her grieving father discover who her killer was. She wants to let him know that she is with him by trying to show herself in different objects. Susie watches her mother leave her family, sees her sister find true love, and her brother grow up and begin to share his troubles. Sebold makes the character of Susie seem real. It is Susie’s voice that captures you and pulls you into the novel. The detail makes you feel like you are right there with the Salmon family. Sometimes it was difficult to relate to this novel in a sense of reality, but it was Susie’s voice and the hope of what might become of the Salmon family that keeps you turning the pages. Sebold’s unusual way of telling the story is what makes it such an interesting and intriguing read. This novel shows how the death of one person can tear a family apart and also brings them together.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
April 12, 2010