Title: The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Date Published: July 2002
Genre: Fiction, Supernatural Thriller
When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn't happen. In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief, her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor and begin the difficult process of healing. In the hands of a brilliant novelist, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful and touching story about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.
A 14-year-old girl, Susie Salmon is raped and murdered. You would think this book would be the mystery of how it happened or who it was, but it's not the way it's written. Susie Salmon is in "heaven" or like in throughout most of the story "In between", Earth and heaven, because she is not yet ready to go on. Susie is the narrator of the story which makes things interesting because you tag along with her while she observes her family, from above, trying to cope. Susie's father is obsessed with what happened, her mother is trying to forget about the occurrence in a total different way, Susie's sister is trying to go on with her life but she knows it's impossible, she needs to find out who the murderer is. Susie's little brother is having a hard time understanding the meaning of death. Most of the story is about what her loved ones have to go through after she is murdered. It is a horrific story but yet it's hard to put down. You see everyone on Earth trying to figure out who the murderer is even though we, the readers, already know.
I don't want to leave out some other interesting characters...
Len Fenerman: The detective trying to solve Susie's case but ends up doing more than investigating the case.
Ray Singh: Susie's crush who is, believe it or not, also having a hard time coping.
Ruth Connors: One of my favorite characters in this story. Ruth is a girl that Susie went to school with, they were never friends but when Susie's spirit touches her while leaving Earth, Ruth becomes fascinated with Susie even though she barely knew her. Ray and Ruth become close friends having something so special in common, Susie.
I should mention Susie's best friend from Earth, Clarissa, and her best friend from heaven, Holly, but they don't make a great impact.
This book is great. I recommend it to everyone, it is indeed a must read. The story can be a bit disturbing at times but I like when authors don't hold anything back. Don't be fooled by the movie because it does not do it any justice.