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The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Once in a generation a novel comes along that taps a vein of universal human experience, resonating with readers of all ages. THE LOVELY BONES is such a book -- a #1 bestseller celebrated at once for its artistry, for its luminous clarity of emotion, and for its astonishing power to lay claim to the hearts of millions of readers around the world...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780316044400
ISBN-10: 0316044407
Publication Date: 10/1/2009
Pages: 400
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 381 ratings
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
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!
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
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.
asunsetchaser avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
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.
mizparker avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 87 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
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.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
Well, this was different. I almost put it down, because the beginning was just a little too much, but I perservered - perhaps because I forked out the money for a hardcover book (which I rarely do) and I'll have to say that while being somewhat freaky, it was a pretty good read. Her characters were interesting.
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ChrissyVas avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 34 more book reviews
This is a depressing book about a girl named Susie Salmon whom is 14, that is murdered by her next door neighbor, Mr. Harvey.

She is the narrator of the story from the moment you begin reading the book. Susie tells you how she was murdered, about life before death, and what her heaven is like. The book is rather slow going from start to finish. I often found myself wondering when it would pick up the pace. It was also pretty predictable with most of the characters being rather annoying.

The ending could have been better as a few things could have been changed. The mother in the book needed to be slapped and I wished her other daughter Lindsey would have done it. I was cheering Buckly on when he told her off. If you want to be depressed and frusterated then this is the book to pick up. Otherwise move on as it will just waste your time.
tiffanyak avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 215 more book reviews
A beautifully tragic story about a life, a death, and everything that came after. "My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973." With these opening words, you are catapaulted into a heartwrenching and yet ever hopeful story about a family trying to cope with the worst tragedy imaginable.

Alice Sebold crafts her story brilliantly. From the father who loves his daughter too much to let her go without getting justice, the mother who is too devastated to cope, the sister who desperately wants to get out of her shadow, and the brother too young to understand beyond knowing an important part of his life is missing, this could be any family after a tragic loss. The emotional range and power are tremendous as you take an inside look at a family and community forever altered in some way by a horrible crime.

Narrated by Susie Salmon, the reader is given a unique perspective on events, as Susie tells about her life and relates to us what happens on Earth in the aftermath of her death. While it is almost unbearably tragic, it is also full of hope. Life does continue, wounds don't disappear but they do heal, and those left behind can find happiness without forgetting those who they lost. It's a hard book to read in the beginning, but an amazing book to finish.
smedway avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 4 more book reviews
I read this book in one sitting, I could not put it down. It was excellent. It challenges traditional ideas of the afterlife and death and delivers a story you cannot walk away from until you know what comes next. It did find myself skimming over some of the details in points - as though the descriptions were so detailed it was hard to absorb but overall the book was very good. You will probably cry.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on
The details of the story are very disturbing. However, I liked that the story was told from the voice of the child.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 7 more book reviews
While the story kept my interest, i can see why some would find it disturbing. While there is only one graphic sexually violent scene in the beginning of the book (one can see it coming - i skipped over it to the next chapter with little plot consequence)if the reader has a child it would hit close to home. I enjoyed the style of writing and the perspective (written in the 1st person of the deceased child) but this book isn't for everyone. Good story, intense, emotional, even funny at times, but can be a bit disturbing, especially for those readers with children.
spontaneousreader avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 8 more book reviews
bookclub book. Fantastic must read
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 3 more book reviews
An abstract story with a murder mystery underneath. One of my absolute favorite stories. Compeltely seperate from the movie. It's almost something that I wouldn't know how to translate into a movie, so I give them credit for trying. This definately isn't a light-hearted story, but a great read that never leaves you bored.
heidivasek avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 31 more book reviews
I couldn't finish it once I started reading it. I had great expectations because of all the good press and hype about the book. I found it strange and not my style at all.
morganc avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 4 more book reviews
This book started out so strong and intriguing. I was excited to read it through the first couple hundred pages. I enjoyed the point of view from "heaven" and found Susie to be a good storyteller. However, the book reaches a point where it is just dragging on and then at the very end moves quickly into this bizarre, and very unbelievable, place. By the end of the book I was just glad it was over and disappointed at how such a strong start became so lack luster in the end.
nannybebette avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 23 more book reviews
"Inside the snow globe on my father's desk, there was a penguin wearing a red-and-white-striped scarf. When I was little my father would pull me into his lap and reach for the snow globe. He would turn it over, letting all the snow collect o the top, then quickly invert it. The two of us watched the snow fall gently around the penguin. The penguin was alone in there, I thought, and I worried for him. When I told my father this, he said, "Don't worry, Susie; he has a nice life. He's trapped in a perfect world.""

Thus begins The Lovely Bones. Susie is a young girl of just fourteen years when she is taken, raped, murdered and dismembered. Instincts tell her father who committed this crime against his child whose body is never found. He goes to the police with his suspicions and though they investigate the man they need evidence which they are unable to find.
One would think this a difficult book to read but this reader did not find it so. It is told from the perspective of Susie, the victim, who is in heaven. A heaven such as I, who believe in heaven and hell, have never envisioned. It is rather a casual place and Susie's enjoyments on earth are also her enjoyments in heaven. And Susie can see and hear what is happening on earth, within her families and others, even her murderer. But she doesn't spend all of her time in this way. There are times when those remaining on earth feel the presence of Susie near them.
As Susie tells her story the horror of it does not become negligible but she tells it in a way that one can accept and move around it and remain within the story. Not just the event.
This is the story of how a family deals with and yet cannot deal with the tragic loss of a beloved child. And Sebold tells this tale in a masterful way very different from those you have read on like subject matter.
The climax of the book may not be what you expect, need or desire. But it suits what comes before.
This is my second Sebold read. I am only saddened that there is only one more currently out there to read. I highly recommend The Lovely Bones and rated it 4 stars.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 9 more book reviews
savesmoney2 avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 7 more book reviews
This book was really good... hard to put down. However, I did not like the ending.
natalietahoe avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 70 more book reviews
Great story and a great read! This is very hard to put down once starting. Alice Sebold's story is told from a young girl who has suffered a traumatic event and is now viewing the lives of family and friends from above. This is such a beautiful story, and although there were some places towards the end that were disappointing, overall, I would highly recommend and the story itself will not let you down!
reviewed The Lovely Bones on
Sad, but lovely! True to the title!
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 17 more book reviews
Good book, made me cry. A little hard to get into.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 15 more book reviews
If you saw the movie and didn't read the book, well then you have done your self a disservice. This book is beautiful written and very complex.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 5 more book reviews
this book was highly recommended to me, I don't know if I'd say it was a great read, it was a different read! Had to look at it from the "girls" eyes in heaven! I liked it, had to stick with it to figure out the ending!
lynnjenk1113 avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 6 more book reviews
Loved the first part of the book, fast paced and kept my attention, didn't want to put it down. But as I got close to the end, the book began to drag and I found myself ready to finish the book so I could start another. But overall, it was a good read.
steelplace632 avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 60 more book reviews
I bought this book before I had children but didn't read it until before the movie came out. I should have read it before I had my daughter. This book was hard for me to finish. It's sad and scares me. Its written beautifully, just not my cup of tea anymore.
mc3 avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 2 more book reviews
Good book. Read it when I was in high school for the first time. Then thought I'd give it another try and now that I'm a mom with a daughter the same age as the girl in the book, I had a really hard time getting through it the second time around.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 2 more book reviews
Different, inspiring. Sad at times, a view of Earth from heaven by a murdered teenager. Great read.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 220 more book reviews
A murdered 12 year-old's view from heaven as she observes the family and friends she had while still alive. It's a story of terrible tragedy that manages to transform into something hopeful and redemptive. A+++++
whiteaker avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 4 more book reviews
I loved this book. A murder mystery where you know who the killer is. The deceased victim is telling the story as she watches over her family and her murder. Well written and a very quick read.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 9 more book reviews
I will not be reposting this audiobook because I want to keep it forever and re-listen. THE LOVELY BONES is a fascinating story told with unbelievable beauty and skill. Character development is masterful, yet the plot never wanes.

For some reason I had expected not to like this book. Instead, I loved it. It is rare for me to dread a book ending because I have enjoyed it so much, but that happened with this one. I thought the reader was excellent.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on
Incredibly moving-have tissues handy! In some ways this book is extremely sad, in other ways not. I think it is one of my favorites I've read or listened to this year.
Kmarie avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 529 more book reviews
this is a wonderful book. I never did get to listen to this on audio, but read the hard copy and loved it. VERY unusual
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 419 more book reviews
Susie Salmon is, was, a fourteen year old girl who was raped, murdered, and dismembered just before Christmas 1973 - that is not a plot spoiler, it is the first sentence of the book. Susie is telling her story from her heaven - everyone has their own heaven. She tells the story of her murder; she watches her murderer; she watches her family and friends.

This novel is the story of those people she watches and the effect that her death has on them. the
A second story line is the search for Susie's killer - Mr Harvey - who for most of the novel is hiding in plain sight. Susie's sister breaks into the house trying to help.

The third story line is Susie's coming to grip with her heaven and how she can move on.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 6 more book reviews
A charming and sometimes funny story of a teen who was brutallly raped and murdered. Seems impossible, but somehow Alice Sebold Turns a gruesome subject into an uplifting story.
reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 4 more book reviews
A great book that I could not put down. It was emotionally heavy, but a fantastic read.
4Hmomnm avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 79 more book reviews
This book starts out by grabbing you and not letting go. Some places it seemed to kind of stall, but then again I was sick when I was reading it so it might have been the drugs. I hightly recommend it. It sure gets you to thinking!
reviewed The Lovely Bones on
I have not been able to finish this book. I really don't care for scary books. This on is not to bad but, I just can't get into it. So, the friend that gave it to me says it is a great read.
gamaw avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 99 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this book although it made me rather sad. I cannot imagine losing one of my children. But the perspective that the book was written from I found very interesting. A very good read.
BluesCrewPaintball avatar reviewed The Lovely Bones on + 5 more book reviews
I was actually very disappointed with this book. It was well-written and kept my attention, but the ending of seemed to come right out of the blue. I ended up feeling depressed by the conclusion.
That being said, technically, it was a "good" book. It seemed to do everything right-- great characterization, a very driven plot, and was just written well.
However, overall, it wasn't what I was expecting at all. It is nothing I will read again nor suggest to anyone else.

Book Wiki

Common Title
Original Publication Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
Susie Salmon (Primary Character)
Lindsay Salmon (Major Character)
George Harvey (Major Character)
Jack Salmon (Major Character)
Abigail Salmon (Major Character)
(Show all 12 People/Characters)
Fictional Places
Important Events