The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold
reviewed by Ava Manson
The shocking beginning of The Lovely Bones leaves a reader with immediate curiosity. Alice Sebold’s novel features the murder of Susie Salmon, a 14 year old girl in the 1970’s, whose life abruptly ends in December of 1973. After a brutal death, she watches over her family in her Heaven for many years, observing their pain, sorrow, and happiness as they must return to their lives without her. Filled with emotion and drama, this novel emphasizes the importance of family, love, and gratitude.
Along with Susie’s perspective from her Heaven, this story follows the personal journey of her sister, mother, father, boyfriend, and even her killer. The tragic event ends up emotionally changing her friends and family as they figure out how to cope. Her father has the most obvious difficulty with the loss of his daughter, becoming depressed for a long period of time after the murder. Lindsey Salmon, Susie’s sister, also struggles for a while, trying to understand herself as she grows up with the absence of a sister. Her mother also changes as a person after her death, not being able to manage the pain of losing someone so close to her.
Personally, I loved this book, and was automatically hooked on it after reading the first chapter. Susie and her family are very relatable characters, even with their unique situation. I think that being the same age a Susie Salmon gives me a great perspective on the novel. I can reflect on the major themes in it, since I am familiar with the same themes in my own life. I highly recommend this book because the touching story of Susie Salmon is one that entertains, mystifies, and teaches with the lesson of appreciating life.