Friday, January 29, 2010

4. The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

Summary: My name was Salmon, like the fish. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her -- her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling. Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, The Lovely Bones succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, and even joy.

Review: When I was first introduced to this book I was told, the first few pages graphically describe the rape and murder of a fourteen year old girl. I was also told despite the disturbing introduction the book is amazing, this is in fact true. What I original thought was going to be a story about a dead girl conducting paranormal activities to aid her family in the capture of her killer, was actually about viewing the living and how they survive such a tragedy.

Sebold shows the reader how the death of a loved one can alter fate and an entire community. The characters left to cope with the tragedy began to drift apart or unexpectedly come together. The common fact remaining, a loved one has died, what do I do now?

This question invites the reader into a series of tales viewed through the eyes of Susie as she watches life on Earth continue. Thou the tales are intriguing, they perform more like character sketches then advancing any sort of plot.

Upon finishing the book, I was left with no sense of enlightenment; except that the dead walked among us and can hear us if we speak to them. I felt dissatisfied with the concluding events that addressed the murderer. I felt no resolution was reached. Nothing was discovered to put the loved ones at ease, to help them move on.

I sense that Sebold is trying to show justice is not always reached, and the harsh truth of reality is unsettling. However, reading in my opinion is to escape reality and therefore should not be present in a story. Who doesn’t appreciate a happy ending?

My conclusion, the book was an enjoyable collection of short stories that answer a bigger question. However, it was amazing and well written. Thou the book lacked a central plot I did enjoy my time spent with it. I can also say the book is before its time, because the contents deal with what most are not ready to face. Evil exists and it will sometimes go unnoticed.

<3 Kitty

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