Book 8: The Lovely Bones

Book Title: The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Published: 2002
Pages: 328
Category: fiction: general

I was told last week that I was the only one in the house who had not read The Lovely Bones, so it became my next book to read & review.

I’m still quite conflicted about this book, more than 2 days after finishing it, I’m unsure of what exactly to write in this review. The story is told from the perspective of a young girl, Susie, who is murdered, and then narrates the consequences, following her family, friends, and her murderer for years following her death. The perspective from which the readers observe the story is very different than any books I’ve read in the past, and reading The Lovely Bones was certainly a new experience.

The subject matter itself was extremely disturbing, as were some of the characters, and the consequences of Susie’s murder. But then again, murder and its consequences are disturbing in the real world, and this work of fiction (accurately?) conveys that.

There were also some very beautiful moments in The Lovely Bones, and maybe I cried a little bit in some places.

The story doesn’t contain justice, doesn’t wrap up nicely, but again, that makes it all the more real.

“These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections – sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent – that happened after I was gone.” (320)

I think this is as far as I will or can go with this review. I’m still quite conflicted and confused about how I feel about The Lovely Bones. I might return to this review in the future but right now I’ll leave it like this.

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8 Responses to Book 8: The Lovely Bones

  1. Katrina says:

    I haven’t read the Lovely Bones either…I got up to the rape/murder scene and threw it away for a romance novel (at least that’s sex I want to read).

    I did watch the movie though and although it was amazing visually, the lack of justice or any real connection between Susie’s Underworld Adventures and her family’s quest for revenge/justice made it really irritating to watch. And then it just ended for like no reason and Susie was like, “YEAH THE LOVELY BONES IS THAT EVERYONE MOVED ON THE END.”

    And I was just like, “……..”

    • Pippa says:

      Past the horrendousness of the first part of the book, parts of it were really beautiful, and overall I’m glad that I read it.

      I think in the book there were connections between Susie’s wanderings and what was happening with her family, but I’m going to have to watch the movie before I can really compare it at all…but I guess the reality of it is that murderers don’t always get caught, and sometimes there isn’t any justice.

      It’s still depressing as heck though.

  2. Danie says:

    I liked this book…. until the end.

    I thought Sebold did a really great job with the emotional challenge that Suzie’s parents felt, what they had to go to, and the the surreal way she watched it all.

    But it got way too unbelievable at the end, when she comes down… blah blah blah.

    Wouldn’t it have been more realistic, more real, all the more heartwrenching if she didn’t get her last human experience?

    • Pippa says:

      I really agree with you about the emotional elements of the story, in some ways I thought the book was really beautiful for how it dealt with the swell of emotions involved.

      For me that part at the end was just weird. Here I am, sitting down, reading a regular fiction book, and then all of a suddne, BAM. its Science Fiction or Fantasy or something. Was not expecting that at all.

      The entire story would have felt more real without that part.

  3. Lauren says:

    I adore this book. The ending was kind of the fantasy, she got her time with Ray, you know?…I realise it’s more than unbelievable 😄 but I enjoyed it. I don’t know, the whole thing is so beautiful and so sad, and the smallest things made me tear up. The way in which she’s trying to move a rose petal on earth, and rose petals are swirling all around HER but she just can’t do it…stuff like that.

    This is why I dropped English after first year 😄 but yeah. One of my favourite books. You know what you might like, if you liked parts of this for the lovely way it was written? The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, by Eva Rice. One of my favourite books ever. It’s…charming. Which is mostly how I feel about the Lovely Bones too, to be fair 😛

    • Pippa says:

      That’s a good point. It is fiction and it doesn’t have to all be “real”, it just seems like such a departure from the realness of the book. Although the book is being narrated by a dead girl in non-standard depiction of heaven too…so maybe not such a departure.

      I will definitely check out that book! Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. Jenn Zee says:

    you know, I really liked the Lovely Bones, for many of the reasons you talk about.

    As a side note; though I haven’t seen the movie, the creeper in the trailer? yeah, he looks JUST LIKE ALANNA’S STEPDAD. creeeper.

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