The Lovely Bones
"It requires more courage to suffer than to die" -Napolean Bonaparte (1769-1821)
Some books are just good books. A few are honored with the title of Literature. The Lovely Bones, written by Alice Sebold, has earned this right. This novel has all attributes of a classic, a tale filled with humor, suspense, hope & joy.
Very few stories can boast originality. This book screams originality. I have never yet read one of such caliber and doubt I ever will again. The story captures you with a compelling opening in chapter one, "My name is Salmon, like the fish; first name Susie. I was 14 when I was murdered on Dec,ember 6, 1973." After reading the first few lines in this obscure book, I was hooked.
The story progresses in an easy flow. As the beginning lines suggest, this story is narrated by a 14-year old girl, who was raped and murdered. The eclectic and most unusual part is that the narration begins prior to her murder, but continues after her death, produced by the murdered girl's point of view. Susie tells the tale of her self, her family, her murder, and then the events beyond her death from her point of view...told from heaven. It is an emotional and dramatical recollection of events.
As shocking as some of the content may be, I would recommend this book for young adult up. I personally will allow my teens to read this book as they are 13 years old and 15 years old. I must stress here, however, that parents should carefully screen this book for content to determine if they deem it appropriate. This book contains much more joy as well as some sadness intertwined with a great and ingenious plot.
Delving further into the history of the author, I was mildly surprised to find a small grain of horrific experiences leading to the writing of this book. Several essays included in the printing enlighten to these truths. If you should be able to find a copy, I strongly recommend this book. This has been the only in the last decade or so to form a tear in my eye and a smile to my lips in the pages between the covers. I suggest quickly finding a copy to read as the movie is in works and set to release in December 2009. The Lovely Bones the movie is directed by Peter Jackson and stars Saoirse Ronan, Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg and Susan Surandon. As always, enjoy!