The Lovely Bones

September 30, 2008
By Courtney Bruno, Colorado Springs, CO

Could you picture your daughter dead and murdered by someone so close to your home? Neither could the Salmon family until their daughter, Susie Salmon, does not come home the night of December 6, 1973. She is brutally raped and murdered at the age of 14 by a neighbor named Mr. Harvey. Her family has a difficult time coping with the situation and wants immediate action to find the killer. No one suspects Mr. Harvey as the killer, except Susie's father. Throughout the story, Susie struggles through many emotions in her heaven and describes them in great detail, including meeting the women whom Mr. Harvey had killed. Susie expresses the different points of view from her heaven and the earth below.
Susie Salmon is the narrator of the story and the main character of the story as well. She is young, at the age of 14, when she is murdered, so her life is cut short. She has a bubbly personality but also an eclectic one. She loves building ships in bottles with her father and is an intelligent girl. She is the oldest child in her family and cares for her siblings, Lindsey and Buckley, like they are her own.
Mr. Harvey is the last person that anyone would expect to be Susie Salmon's killer. Her family is struggling to convince the police to further investigate him, because they have no evidence or leads. The longer Susie's death goes unsolved, the harder it is for investigators to arrest him. No one can rest peacefully at night knowing he is still on the loose.
I would recommend this novel to anyone, male or female, because it is filled with crime, excitement, and emotion. It is a humbling story line that gives the reader different perspectives on the thoughts and emotions that pass through a family's mind after a horrific death. It also gives an interesting perspective on what heaven is like from the author's personal point of view. The novel is unique in its own way, and the reader will always be intrigued.
The author, Alice Sebold, wrote this novel in a style that is different from most authors. She gives the reader two different perspectives, one from earth and one from heaven. She is extremely descriptive of heaven and gives the reader a different idea of what heaven looks like. She also incorporates many genres in the story such as crime, romance, grief, drama, and comedy all in one. One piece about her writing that may be confusing to readers is she randomly switches from talking about heaven to talking about earth without notice. It can sometimes be hard to follow. Overall, it is a mesmerizing and intriguing novel, and her writing style will give the reader a page-burning novel that they will never forget.

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