Book Club:: Lovely Bones

lovely_bonesI was pretty excited about reading this book as a couple of friends had told me that it was one of their favorites. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold, felt like it was a very quick read but only because the story line drew me in and I couldn’t put the book down.  The story starts out by telling, from her perspective, of how Susie Salmon is raped and killed. It’s definitely a shocking intro to the story but it is effective in how quickly you are wrapped up in it and the main character’s tragic death. The story that follows after Susie’s death is how her family and friends respond to her death and it’s told from her point of view looking down from heaven. I was fascinated with the author’s interpretation of heaven. I thought it was interesting that each person had their own heaven and that they could overlap so that they would interact with one other. But still, they could be in an area of their heaven that no one else could access. And then beyond that, there was a level of heaven that you only accessed once you were done watching people on earth? I’m not sure if I understood that correctly, but that was my interpretation of what the author was saying. But altogether, it was interesting to read how she visualized heaven. There was one point towards the end of the story that I thought felt out of place and unnecessary and it has to do with her relationship with Ray and Ruth. You’ll know it when you read it (if you read it). Ray and Ruth are two ‘outsiders’ that both hold Susie in a special place in their hearts. Ray was Susie’s first love and first kiss and Ruth feels inexplicably drawn to the spirit world after Susie’s death. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone that is not afraid of reading a book that is very candid, up front and doesn’t hold back on the shock factor (although it’s worth noting that it’s not terribly graphic or explicit). 8.5/10

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4 Comments

  1. Posted February 11, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m SO glad you finally read it – and liked it! I LOVED her interpretation of heaven…that was my favorite thing about it, I think.

    I’m with you on Ray and Ruth. I would have changed that segment of the book…taken it out, done something differently…it just didn’t really fit.

    If you’re inspired to read another Sebold book, read Lucky. It’s disturbing, but it’ll help you understand where she is writing from. Do NOT read Almost Moon. It is pretty much the worst book I’ve ever read. Mmm…love Lovely Bones!

  2. Posted February 11, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve only read a couple of chapters so far but I am enjoying it.

  3. Posted February 11, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I finished it this week to and thought it was good. I thought it was going to go down more of the murder mystery road than it ended up going…but still liked it nonetheless.

    I wanted to read some of her others so good to know about Almost Moon.

  4. RB
    Posted February 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I read this book and enjoyed it. I think my favorite part was when she talked about the picture of her mother sitting on the porch in the morning without make-up drinking her coffee. Even though we know our families so well, sometimes glimpses like that are a rare gift.

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