This is a great book. It was difficult for me to read, because my sister died at the age of 14. Although she was not raped or murdered, it still gave an eerie perspective of the possibility that she may have watched us dealing with the grief and aftermath of her sudden and tragic death.
If you have lost a loved one at a young age, this is a difficult book, but you won't be able to put it down!
This novel requires much suspension of disbelief, as it is written from the perspective of a child who had been brutally murdered, and who is watching what is happening to her family and friends from her own heaven. I couldn't put the book down, I was hooked from the first page.
Though this story dealt with horrid violence, it may leave the reader feeling a sense of... peace. I'm not sure if peace is the right word, or if there is another word that could define the feeling exactly. Whatever the word, it replaces the anger,the unfairness,the heartache that bubbles up after reading the first couple of chapters. Sebold slowly takes you by the hand and leads you through a tragedy of a young student and how it affects her family and friends. More remarkable, she lets you see it through the victim's eyes and heart. Great book, soon to be a movie in 2009.
I cried, I cried, I cried some more!
The novel is about a young teenage girl who is raped and murdered by her neighbor. She spends the story watching her family from heaven as she narrates, and wishing that she could help them as they all move through separate periods of grief. I know, sounds depressing and awful, right? It's not! It's poetic and beautifully descriptive, and you get sucked right into the story. I would go so far as to say that it's an important book about grieving, but even so, it is a worthwhile read. Wonderful story. I won't be posting my copy, as I can't part with it.
A strange book about a disturbing topic. There is nothing uplifting or happy about this story. I know others rave about this book, but I'm going to be in the minority. I didn't like this story. No one really mourned Susie in the way I would have expected. The mother is barely described. Only the father is keenly drawn. The grandmother is a caricature. The worst part is the incredible hard to believe scene near the end of the story.
This book has a lot of hype around it. Perhaps in the hands of a better author it could have been something really great. The premise of the story while incredibly tragic is intriguing, and the story starts out with a very memorable beginning, but the plot and writing just don't deliver. The ending was so unsatisfactory.
[SPOILER ahead] Susie is raped, murdered, and dismembered. After several years in Purgatory, she has the opportunity to switch bodies briefly with her somewhat psychic school friend who is alive on Earth. What does Susie do? Instead of alerting the police to where her remains are (the remains were never found except for an elbow), instead of contacting her grieving family, instead of alerting someone to what exactly happened, instead of all those things she could possibly do to help her case and her family, she has sex with a boy she knew in school!! After having sex, she returns her friend's body back to her, and returns to Purgatory. That makes no sense at all. Susie's last sexual experience as a virgin was a brutal rape. So the first chance she has at communicating with people in the living physical world, she decides to have sex? She wants sex that badly after her last experience with a man? It's very unrealistic and very strange to say the least. I nearly gave up on the book at this point because it was so ridiculous especially considering the author's very public acknowledgment of her own rape during college.