You will notice that my copy of “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold is a bit tattered. I bought this book at a school fete recently. It was recommended to me so I was prepared to look past the ripped cover and give it a go.
It is a very strange book. I will not be reading it again.
“The Lovely Bones” is a murder story, told by the girl who was raped and killed not far from her house when she was fourteen years old. Susie Salmon died and went to heaven. She tells the reader all the grim and gorey details right from the start.
Her family and the police are left to try to figure out what happened to Susie. Her friends are also shocked by this tragedy and never really recover. Susie watches them all from her place in heaven.
Susie misses her earthly life and gets very absorbed in watching her family and friends, finding it hard to let it go. She even manages to get involved in their lives as they go on to grow up, fall in love and do all the things she didn’t get to do in her life. I found this aspect of the book very hard to accept. Susie describes her heaven and I guess her description of heaven is very different to how I expect it to be. She doesn’t mention God at all in heaven which is also very different to the heaven I am looking forward to.
One aspect of this book that I found interesting, that is the way the characters all grieve differently and find it hard to understand each other. There are communication break-downs and strange behaviour that continues for years after. The lives of Susie’s family and friends all change forever. This is true of tragedies.
I realise that this book isn’t supposed to be like a true story, it is a work of fiction. I just didn’t love it.
If you read it and love it, let me know!