The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold Review

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The first time I read this book was around 7 years ago. I was away on a girlie holiday and I took a book with me in case I had time amongst sunning it and drinking copious amounts of alcohol. This book stood out to me when I brought it due to the beautifully, simple cover. Standing in the charity shop in my local town I was drawn in even more when I read the summary on the back of the book.

Needless to say, I didn’t even wait until my holiday started to open this book. I opened up the book the day before thinking that I would just have a peek at the first page; by the end of the day I had already read half of the book with the rest completed whilst we travelled to our destination. 

If for some reason you have never heard of this book! If for some reason you have felt that you need to find a book that is ABSOLUTELY amazing! If you need a story that is heart-breaking, thrilling and beautiful all at the same time. If you want a book that will have you crying one minute, angry another and then laughing, then my Dear you have come to the right review!

As always, I will be providing a SPOILER FREE review. The best thing about reading is finding out the best bits for yourself so you really don’t need me spoiling it for you, but let me tell you…if you read this book! You…will….not…be…disappointed. 

Before I start my review, lets look at some of the blurb. 

About the Author

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Alice Sebold is an American writer. She has published three books: Lucky, The Lovely Bones, and The Almost Moon. Sebold was born in Madison, Wisconsin. She grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where her father taught Spanish at the University of Pennsylvania. Sebold graduated from Great Valley High School in Malvern, Pennsylvania, in 1980.

Following graduation from Syracuse in 1984, Sebold briefly attended the University of Houston in Texas, for graduate school, then moved to Manhattan for the next ten years. She held several waitressing jobs while pursuing a writing career, but neither her poetry nor her attempts at writing a novel came to fruition. 

At age 33, Sebold then began writing a novel called Monsters, about the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl. The story was based on her realization that “within the suburban world of my upbringing there was as many strange stories as there were in the more romanticized parts of the world. The novel eventually became The Lovely Bones, which one reviewer called “a disturbing story, full of horror and confusion and deep, bone-weary sadness. And yet it reflects a moving, passionate interest in and love for ordinary life as its most wonderful, and most awful, even at its most mundane.” The New York Times observed that “Ms. Sebold [has] the ability to capture both the ordinary and the extraordinary, the banal and the horrific, in lyrical, unsentimental prose.”

Sebold was previously married to Glen David Gold. She lives in San Francisco.

Book Blurb – The Lovely Bones

My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie.

I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.

In heaven, Susie Salmon can have whatever she wishes for – except what she most wants, which is to be back with the people she loved on earth. In the wake of her murder, Susie watches as her happy suburban family is torn apart by grief; as her friends grow up, fall in love, and do all the things she never had the chance to do herself.

But as Susie will come to realize, even in death, life is not quite out of reach . . .

A luminous, astonishing novel about life and death, memory and forgetting, and finding light in the darkest places, Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones became an instant classic when it was first published in 2002.

There are now over ten million copies in print. It inspired the film starring Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon and Saoirse Ronan.

My Review

I always think that you can tell how much you like a book by how quickly it takes you to read it. I am a big fan of Stephen King books but his Dark Tower series, despite being well written were a bit of a drag and after almost 10 years since I started reading them, I am STILL struggling to get through the final book; I started reading it 3 years ago and pick it up/put it down regularly.

But this book had me enthralled from the very first chapter and within 2 days I had turned the final page with tears in my eyes and with a heavy-beating heart. It was heart-breaking to read of the characters situation. We are introduced to 14 year old Susie Salmon who was raped and murdered by her creepy next door neighbour. The book shows us from Susie’s vantage point; she is in her own version of heaven and watches over her family and friends as they deal with the aftermath of her devastating death. The powerful struggle the character goes through as she finds it difficult to accept her fate is both enthralling and difficult. I love Susie’s character; she watches over her family with both loyalty and heartache. If there is one thing that Susie would like, it would be to be back with her family, but she knows it isn’t possible so she must watch with wander and sometimes envy as her family lives a life that she was forced out of.

It feels wrong to say that this book is beautiful, especially as some of the subject matter is so haunting, but the finality of the characters acceptance and the journey she and her close ones go on is marvellous. To say I was blown away by this story is a little bit of an understatement. The story is fantastically told and despite the ‘true’ reasoning behind some of the book, Alice Sebold has told a story she should be especially proud of. It is the details and moments of character interaction which truly bring this story to life and create something rather special.

Conclusion

A book about rape and murder should not be seen as a great book, but this one is. I have read many books, some of which completely got me in the ‘feels’ but none as much as this one. I went through a vast array of emotions when reading this and it really says something about the book when it stays with you even years after finishing it.

I cant give this book anything else but…

5 out of 5 Stars!

If you haven’t read this already, please look it up, get yourself a copy and read a truly remarkable book.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my review.

Speak soon Guys

S x

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