The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold
reviewed by Charlotte Collins
The very first paragraph of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones leaves the reader shocked, intrigued, and concerned. The story begins as a first person narrative in the perspective of fourteen-year old rape and murder victim, Susie Salmon. Susie is portrayed as the everyday, typical girl; she is not too smart and not too popular, thus giving the reader a sense that she could be anyone. Within the first chapter, the reader learns all about Susie untimely demise, including the fact that her killer is her neighbor, Mr. George Harvey.
After her death, Susie looked over her family from heaven. She watched the aftermath of her death and observed the lives of her mother, father, sister named Lindsey, brother named Buckley, her boyfriend named Ray, her classmate named Ruth, and even her murderer, George Harvey. Susie watched while her friends a family struggle to solve the mystery of her death and to move forward with their own lives after she is gone. Sebold uses a lot of foreshadowing and irony in The Lovely Bones.
I loved the book. Once I got past the initial shock of the subject matter, the story was fantastic and captivating. It was one of those books that you could not put down. It was what I would call a reverse mystery because the reader knows who the killer is, but the characters, aside from Susie and Mr. Harvey, do not know who killed Susie. The reader gets to watch all of the confusion that followed the unexplained and unexpected death of Susie Salmon. I think Sebold created a masterpiece that explores many themes including family, time, death, and even the supernatural. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the kind of story that you cannot put down or anyone who enjoys drama.