The Lovely Bones

The Lovely BonesThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fairly well-written book, from a very interesting point of view. Although it deals with murder and grief, it is not a heavy or dark tale, being ultimately about hope and healing. I did find a few plot points rather implausible, but Susie and her friends and family are memorable characters that will stay with me.

Description: When we first meet Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. As she looks down from this strange new place, she tells us, in the fresh and spirited voice of a fourteen-year-old girl, a tale that is both haunting and full of hope. In the weeks following her death, Susie watches life continuing without her–her school friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her family holding out hope that she’ll be found, her killer trying to cover his tracks. As months pass without leads, Susie sees her parents’ marriage being contorted by loss, her sister hardening herself in an effort to stay strong, and her little brother trying to grasp the meaning of the word gone. With compassion, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie sees her loved ones pass through grief and begin to mend. Her father embarks on a risky quest to ensnare her killer. Her sister undertakes a feat of remarkable daring. And the boy Susie cared for moves on, only to find himself at the center of a miraculous event.

This story of the worst thing a family can face is transformed into a suspenseful and even funny novel about love, memory, joy, heaven, and healing.

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1 Comment

  1. Watched the movie version of this book last night (Aug. 3, 2011). It was okay, but not great. Some things were changed and a lot was left out. Overall, I thought the impact was darker. If I hadn’t read the book first, I don’t think I would have been able to fathom why the characters did what they did. Others were treated much too shallowly. It ended up being a movie about Susie, and her journey to move beyond her inbetween world to heaven, rather than the journeys of the people she left behind. So the emotional impact wasn’t there. The actress who played Susie was wonderful. And the killer was very creepy. The others seemed like caricatures. Watch the movie primarily for the CGI fantasy scenes. The character development and the final resolution was disappointing.


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