“The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold is a novel that I was not sure about reading. I read the synopsis of the novel and was a little put off by it yet intrigued at the same time. Here is a novel about a 14 year old girl that is murdered and that is just the start of the book.
Susie Salmon is killed by a neighbor and goes to heaven and that is where the focus and view point of the storyline is told from. Now that is a rather depressing start on a novel especially since poor Susie was just on the cusp of womanhood and never gets to full fill her destiny, or does she?
In heaven, Susie is not content to just go about the business of being in this magical realm where she is living out all of the best things about being a kid. Susie is obsessed with both the family she left behind and letting them know who killed her.
Susie sees the break up of her family when her eccentric mother has an affair. Susie also watches her sister grow up and do the things she never got to do. This is all very poignant and I dare you to read this novel and not shed a tear or two.
During the course of the novel you see Susie’s obsessions grow and the effect this has on her family that have never really gotten over her death especially since she was murdered. Her father has a heart attack, her sister runs a bit wild and they see her everywhere in one way or another.
The author manages to tackle difficult subject matters and make a very interesting, thoughtful and touching story out of it. This makes me wonder how well it will translate into a movie format. I’m hoping that (no pun intended, honest!) the spirit of the novel and storyline aren’t lost in the translation to film. From what I have seen of the trailers it looks like they are sticking pretty close to the novel’s integrity.
A side note:
If you are anything like I am and an avid reader that unfortunately keeps a lot of her books then you should check out BookMooch.com which is a book swapping internet phenomenon that is world wide. You list the books you want to get rid of and get points for them and then you use your points to “mooch” a book from another member. The only cost to you is when someone mooches a book from you, you pay the cost of mailing it out which if you use Media Mail it is fairly cheap. I have mostly hardback books and usually mooch the same since I really abhor paperback novels. The cost of shipping hardbacks is around $2.00 and that is way cheaper than buying new ones. You get to keep whatever you mooch or list it again and get the points, it’s your choice. They do hardback, paperback and books on tape as well.
I also use Book Mooch to try out authors I have not heard of such as this one. If I hadn’t mooched it I probably would have no clue about it and would have missed out on an interesting reading adventure. I highly recommend joining Book Mooch (it’s free to sign up) and mooching a copy of “The Lovely Bones” as I think you will be glad you did.