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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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In heaven Susie Salmon, struggles with her feelings of helplessness and desire to be with the ones she loves on earth. In The Lovely Bones, Susie is depicted as a fourteen year-old girl who fell victim to a tragic rape and murder crime committed by her seemingly normal neighbor. Throughout Alice Sebold’s novel, the reader can truly relate with the emotions intertwined with her words.

The story leaves the reader with an intriguing and interesting plot, and a feeling of suspense for what happens next: What kinds of struggles does the family suffer through? Do they ever catch the murderer? How does the death of Susie effect people’s lives? During the course of this book, there are numerous questions that continually pop into one’s head, all of which are answered by the end of the book.

Throughout the story, there are memorable themes of the realities of life and death. In the time after Susie’s murder, life for her family seems to go downhill. Her mother began to lose interest in the family, her father began to drive himself insane by thinking about the death of his daughter constantly, and her sister began to make the wrong decisions- meanwhile, her younger brother was clueless. On the other side, Susie has her own problems to deal with in heaven. She is stuck watching her family suffer, and she cannot do anything to help. All she can do is simply that: watch. Susie also has to come to terms that she would not be mourned for forever, and that her family had to move on without her.

The style of The Lovely Bones is very believable, as far as the word choices and personalities of the characters. Susie started out a little immature, and slowly began to grow and mature as time passed. Lindsey, Susie’s younger sister, was shocked after Susie’s death; she even vomited among hearing the news, and continuously told herself that everything would be okay directly after the incident. Since she kept all of the pain she felt inside of her, she began making poor decisions that could drastically affect her life. Even the mother, as much of an unlikeable character as she is, seems to be very realistic. Mrs. Salmon represents how a person can crack and change for the worst after a traumatic experience. All of the characters are very believable, because many people deal with death in different ways.

The Lovely Bones is truly a lovely story, and helps the reader to ponder and understand ideas about life and death. Although some situations in the story may not end up being what the reader wants to hear, the truth is that many of the events that occur in the novel are happening every day to people around the world. Therefore, Susie’s tale can help apply sympathy and empathy to every day life. The reader can find oneself laughing and even crying throughout the emotion-filled passages in this beautiful piece of literature.





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