Smash's Reviews > The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
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Aug 03, 10

bookshelves: fiction, suspense-thriller, read-2009, book-reviews, tough-issues
Read in September, 2009

The Lovely Bones is a novel that will keep you interested until the very end. It is beautifully written, has amazing imagery, and is intensely emotional with beautiful allegorical references. It will affect you on a deep level. The book is written from Suzie's perspective, even after she dies and arrives in what I believe is Purgatory. She has been raped and murdered and feels enormous pain in the afterlife. We feel the intense pain she feels as she watches her family deteriorate after her demise. Because of Susie's violent and abrupt departure, she isn't dealing with her death well and can't break the binds to Earth and the people she cares for. We follow her agonizing journey as she slowly accepts her own death and says goodbye to the people she loves.

There are some really important themes in this novel. The most important being Grief and Loss. Everyone grieves differently and moves through the stages of grief at different times and stages. This is very apparent in this novel, as the family members do not move through the cycle at the same time, and it greatly affects the cohesion of the unit. Acceptance is another theme. It is not easy for people to accept a loved one's death, maybe even more so when that person was taken in a brutal, violent way. In order to move on from the grieving process, they have to accept that Susie is no longer with them. And, Susie has to move on and accept her own death. This allows her to move on to Heaven.

Conclusion: 5 stars! This book is phenomenal. It is a heavy read and will evoke emotion in you. It is not a mystery, as Susie tells you the who/what/why/when/how immediately. Instead, it is a character-driven piece that travels through the human psyche and delivers raw emotion on an epic scale.

The movie was released this year and is now on DVD. While it did not convey the emotional intensity that the book portrays, I thought it was a beautiful and chilling movie.
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