September 13, 2009

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Date Started: September 6, 2009
Date Finished: September 12, 2009

Summary: Susie Salmon was 14 years old when she was brutally raped, murder, then dismembered by a local neighbor. There in her Heaven, she meets some friends and has some good times there, but she still longs to look at her family and what happened to them. She sees them moving on, growing up, and falling apart as her death rattles her family to the core.

Likes: The premise and the writing I think was very well written. It was an enjoyable book about the afterlife and how people cope with things going on. I liked Susie's character because it's not overly weepy and sentimental or angry or regretful. It sounded like she was at peace with her death, her life, and the choices she made. She still had love and didn't long to be on Earth too much, but was invested in her friends and family and how they continued life without her. It was a really good story in the bare bones of it all (no pun intended. =/ ) but after the characters get older the story starts to lose some of its freshness.

Dislikes: The ending seemed too rushed and wasn't very satisfying in my opinion. Nothing is solved as far as Susie is concerned. The ending wasn't satisfying in a sense that everyone moved on and was able to do so later on, but there didn't seem to be any closure as far as the story was concerned. There wasn't enough of Susie's heaven to compare with life on Earth. I think the best ending in the world to me would be Little Susie, Lindsey's daughter, seeing the older Susie, since she was a baby and all. It might have been too sentimental, but depending on how it was written, it would have been the perfect closure. I wish that Susie was able to interfere in people's lives more, like she did toward the end. The scene with Ray was satisfying to read, but in the end something about it felt forced.The last half of the book stagnates and gets a little dull to read.

Overall: Like A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb, The Lovely Bones deals with death and the afterlife in pretty much the same manner. With Whitcomb's book, it takes a long time for it to pick up and get interesting, where as Sebold's book starts off interesting, but then gets a little dull towards the middle. If someone could write a book about this subject matter that never loses interest, it may be a really neat book to read. I liked both books and I felt like I liked The Lovely Bones more than I disliked it. With Sebold's book, I just wanted more everything, more grief, more about the afterlife for Susie and how the other people she knew died. More everything. I wish I could have that, but it might be hard to write something like that without getting melodramatic. It was a good read and I might try to read Sebold's other book Lucky at some point.

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