The Lovely Bones
By Alice Sebold
Completed January 25, 2010
The Lovely Bones was the brazen debut by Alice Sebold, who told the story of Susie, a 14-year-old girl raped and murdered by her neighbor. Susie told her story from Heaven - or at least a section of Heaven - and through her eyes, she unraveled a complex story of love, loss and forgiveness.
When Susie entered Heaven, she went to an ideal physical location. However, most of Susie's fellow residents were ones who died from atrocious crimes such as Susie's. This special place in Heaven was intended for healing and letting go of human life. Susie missed her family enormously and watching their grief was heart-breaking for her. She also watched her murderer as he masterfully side-stepped the police and neighbors. Imagine how frustrating it would be to know the man who killed and raped you was not even a police suspect. Worse yet, imaging watching your family tear apart from your loss. It's a perspective of Heaven I had not considered, and Susie's tale left me a lot to think about.
The Lovely Bones was a true page-turner. For me, it was a spiritual novel. For others, it might be a crime story. Either way, Sebold did a marvelous job exposing Susie's family's grief - and showing that a family's ties are the strongest ones of all.