Stephen's Reviews > The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
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Nov 22, 11

bookshelves: and-saw-the-movie, literature, popular-fiction, teen-reads, books-read-in-2011, tally-50-book-list, magical-realism
Read from November 20 to 22, 2011

The bones in this title refer to the framework, the structure and strength that is family life and while a meditation on death, this book is more an affirmation of life and the strength that ordinary people have to heal, even from extraordinary tragedies.

While this book is an amazing work, it's NOT for everyone. People handle death and loss in different ways and some people will find that this book trivializes death and the afterlife. Others will find it a powerful allegory with a healing message.

I think that it's a bit like those scary but magical creatures that we see in the later Harry Potter movies that can only be seen by people who have seen death. There are truths in this world that few people will be able to see and/or understand without having experienced a tragedy first hand.

While I generally shy away from relentlessly sad books, I'd seen the movie that was made from this and found that there was a life affirming message that I wanted to read more of. As is almost always the case, the book has a slower pace and can examine in greater depth some things that a movie can only touch on.

While the movie that was made from this was very faithful to the spirit of the book, fans of the movie can still gleen some gold from the book that never made it into the film.

I think that subjects like this are healthy when absorbed in moderation. I sometimes wonder if there's an emotional equivelent of endorphines. They say that when you exercise and break down muscle, Endorphines are released and that the breakdown is necessary to gain greater strength. I'm wondering if some grief or trauma isn't necessary to gain wisdom and a book like this is the soul's equivelent of a work out.

Read it. Pondering the issues it raises will be good for you.
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Reading Progress

11/21/2011 page 35
11.0%
11/21/2011 page 48
15.0% "I'm struck by the negativity of some of the reviews of this book. And also by the thought that rumination on death and loss has aspects that are like the creatures that draw those carriages in Harry Potter's world. Some things cannot by seen by those that haven't experienced a loss or an ordeal of some kind."
11/21/2011 page 301
92.0% "I wonder if there's an emotional equivelent of endorphines. They say that when you exercise and break down muscle Endorphines are released and that the breakdown is necessary to gain greater strength. I'm wondering if some grief or trauma isn't necessary to gain wisom and a book like this is the equivelent of working out"

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message 1: by Marie (new) - added it

Marie Gentilcore I didn't want to read the book because of the child death but I saw the movie and it was pretty good. I'm glad you say that people who liked the move will still get something from the book. I think I will try to get to this in 2015.


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