The Lovely Bones (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Title: The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
The Lovely Bones begins in 1973 and is narrated by fourteen year old Susie Salmon, “like the fish.” In the first paragraph we learn that she has been murdered by a neighbor.
The first person narrative was off-putting at first, but was quickly over-shadowed by the inanity of Susie’s personal heaven. However, the story did improve somewhat as the Salmon family tried to come to terms with the tragedy.
In her own anger and grief, Susie adopts a habit of incessant voyeurism. She is continuously following her family and her killer about in their daily lives, almost haunting them. This has a negative impact on members of the family, and seems to be preventing them from achieving proper closure.
Susie’s desire to be back among the living becomes so strong that at one point she takes over another girl’s body so that she could have sex with a boy which Susie had a crush on. However, a small bit of good does come from the act of selfishness, and Susie gains a bit of closure for herself. This then enables her to allow her loved ones to properly get on with their lives once and for all.
Tagged as “The Story of a Life and Everything That Came After,” The Lovely Bones reads like a ghost story told from the perspective of a teenage ghost with unfinished business. While not fantastic, it is worth a read. I would recommend borrowing a library copy, or acquiring it from a thrift store, however.
Would I read it again? Possibly, but I would not call it one of my favorites.
Would I read more by this author? I would like to, but Sebold seems to favor first-person narration, which I find to be a turn-off in a book.