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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. Susie's resembles the athletic fields and landscape of a suburban high school: a heaven of her "simplest dreams," where "there were no teachers.... We never had to go inside except for art class.... The boys did not pinch our backsides or tell us we smelled; our textbooks were Seventeen and Glamour and Vogue."
The Lovely Bones works as an odd yet affecting coming-of-age story. Susie struggles to accept her death while still clinging to the lost world of the living, following her family's dramas over the years like an episode of My So-Called Afterlife. Her family disintegrates in their grief: her father becomes determined to find her killer, her mother withdraws, her little brother Buckley attempts to make sense of the new hole in his family, and her younger sister Lindsey moves through the milestone events of her teenage and young adult years with Susie riding spiritual shotgun. Random acts and missed opportunities run throughout the book--Susie recalls her sole kiss with a boy on Earth as "like an accident--a beautiful gasoline rainbow." Though sentimental at times, The Lovely Bones is a moving exploration of loss and mourning that ultimately puts its faith in the living and that is made even more powerful by a cast of convincing characters. Sebold orchestrates a big finish, and though things tend to wrap up a little too well for everyone in the end, one can only imagine (or hope) that heaven is indeed a place filled with such happy endings. --Brad Thomas Parsons
Look Inside the Motion Picture The Lovely Bones (Paramount, 2010)
(Click on each image below to see a larger view)
Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon
Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon
Mark Wahlberg as Jack Salmon
Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon and Director Peter Jackson
This book started out decently enough, but with each page turn I lost interest. I didn't hate any of the characters, but I didn't particularly like them either. Read morePublished 1 day ago by S. Parker
A look at death that makes it anything but depressing. This book offers an interesting look at the afterlife that many hoped was possible. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Claire Currie
I have read this book twice in the last year and I still think that it deserves its best selling title, even though I am surrounded by so many hateful reviews. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Sergiu Pobereznic (author)
First of it kind that I have ever read. Very thought provoking.Published 7 days ago by charles e witte
‘The Lovely Bones’ was the 2002 novel by Alice Sebold.
When ‘The Lovely Bones’ came out it was an instant bestseller and one of those word-of-mouth books that seemed to... Read more
I hate to say it but the movie was better. The book was nicely written but there was not a lot of feeling. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Miranda Ahlgrim
I didn't think I was going to like this book, but I did. It was a good read.
I enjoyed the interesting concept of the point of view of the speaker from death/her... Read more
I don't read much fiction and this is not the place to start! It's really depressing at times with nothing good to balance it out. Read morePublished 19 days ago by TDK