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A Brief Book Review: The Lovely Bones

I read the The Lovely Bones in about 9 hours at the rave recommendations of my pals Scott & Kevin. After reading the plot description, I knew this book was for me:

On her way home from school on a snowy December day in 1973, 14-year-old Susie Salmon (“like the fish”) is lured into a makeshift underground den in a cornfield and brutally raped and murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer–the man she knew as her neighbor, Mr. Harvey.

Alice Sebold’s haunting and heartbreaking debut novel, The Lovely Bones, unfolds from heaven, where “life is a perpetual yesterday” and where Susie narrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well as her brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case. As Sebold fashions it, everyone has his or her own version of heaven.

I enjoyed the concept thoroughly, the narration was well written and the characters were drawn beautifully with flaws and anger and rage and sadness after Susie’s death.

There was a sliver of plot towards the end that made me annoyed and I tried my best to think of how to write about it. I didn’t read any reviews until today and the very first Amazon reviewer did the work for me:

This novel is not flawless, nor should it expected to be. The narrative loses some of its momentum near the end. In addition, Sebold makes the mistake of adding a scene (which I won’t describe here) seemingly designed to lessen the reader’s regret about Susie’s missed coming-of-age, but instead the scene falls flat.

But take those short three pages out and it is a really lovely memoir as told from a little girl in heaven and a riveting story of how a family (badly) deals with such a tragic loss of one of their own.

Next up: The Secret Life of Bees. Also a loaner from Scott.