The Lovely Bones Book Review

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Susie Salmon was fourteen years old when she was murdered on Dec. 6, 1973. She sits in her heaven as she watches her family, her friends, and the little town in which she was raised fall apart in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Following the lives of those who loved her, those who knew her, and even her murderer himself, Susie observes how the gaping hole she left in the world is affecting the people around it.

From the perspective of a child who will never get the chance to grow up, “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold tells a story of tragedy with flashes of despair, joy, and overwhelming strength. This heartwarming book is definitely something extraordinary.

I found the story to be thought provoking with many themes on the topic of life, death and what happens in between. Almost every character is thoroughly characterized and brought to life using simple gestures and clever dialogue.

The plot is well paced – not spread too thin even though it went through a time span of about eight years. The story connects smoothly throughout the story, allowing me to conclude that the novel was carefully planned.

Another element I liked was the eyes through which everything was seen. Although depicting the aftermath of a tragedy is common throughout literature, Sebold delivers “The Lovely Bones” from a unique perspective.

The story is told from the perspective of the girl who was already murdered. Susie is the main character though the story itself is more focused on the lives of those she left behind. Susie cannot grow up in heaven, but she matures as she watches the ones affected by her death grow and evolve throughout the years.

Sebold did a wonderful job conveying the voice of a child who felt robbed of her life but then came to realize what life truly is. Susie has a clear and fresh voice that makes descriptions vivid and the world around her bright.

There is more psychological action than physical action in the story itself. Tragedy brought out the insecurities and defenses of those closest to it. “The Lovely Bones” shows how each character is affected by the death of Susie, and how their actions correspond to their past and their present state of mind.

The novel depicts tragedy in a new way; it doesn’t cut off connections between people, it reveals them. Sebold beautifully demonstrates the twisted world that is reality, and the warmth of love and the importance of family underneath the pain.

“The Lovely Bones” reminds us that we are capable of fighting through the aftermath of death, that life continues on even through the most tragic of times.

All in all, “The Lovely Bones” is one of the best books I have ever read. I fell in love with the beauty of Sebold’s prose and the simple yet complex concept of life, death, and love. This book helped me gain an insight on how lives got torn apart by death then built up again by love. I give this book a solid nine out of ten.

16szhang@usd489.com

 

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