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Book Review of The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
nannybebette avatar reviewed 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.

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