I keep a ridiculously long list of books I want to read on amazon.com. I’ve been doing this for over three years. Occasionally, I will remove a book if it no longer interests me. As of today, I have over 500 books on the list. The Lovely Bones was one the first books I put on the list. I added it back on July 8th, 2005. I finally purchased it earlier this month and began reading.
Susie Salmon (“like the fish”) was a fourteen-year-old girl who was brutally raped and murdered in 1973. The killer was her neighbor, the odd Mr. Harvey. Susie watches her loved ones mourn from her view in Heaven, while she tries to find solace herself.
Initially, The Lovely Bones sounds like a grim novel, and for the beginning of novel, it is. This is when the events immediately before and after the murder are described. As the novel progresses, readers learn that The Lovely Bones is not meant to be dark. Instead, it shows the healing process of death.
Susie has a voice beyond her age. While dead at fourteen, she only grew wiser in Heaven, and I loved this. However, sometimes, I think Sebold when a little too far. Some sentences were confusing, while others were plain corny. They were unneccessary and cluttered the book. Another thing I disliked was the end. It felt unbelievable and rushed.
While The Lovely Bones has small flaws, I do believe this is a book worth reading. It was powerful and successfully tackled the topic of coping with death. It was a smart choice to choose Susie as the narrator. I loved seeing her come to terms with her death while in Heaven. This is the first book I’ve read that has shown the coping of one’s own death, although I’m sure there are more out there (any recommendations?). Anyway, I definitely recommend you read The Lovely Bones if you have not already.