The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold If This Is What They Read In Hell Then I Wanna Go There (A Response..Spoilers Ahead!)On her way home from school on a snowy December day in 1973, 14-year-old Susie Salmon (like the fish) is lured into a makeshift undergroundden in a cornfield and brutally raped and murdered, the latest victim of aserial killer--the man she knew as her neighbor, Mr. Harvey. AliceSebolds haunting and heartbreaking debut novel, The Lovely Bones,unfolds from heaven, where life is a perpetual yesterday and where Susienarrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well asher brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case. As Seboldfashions it, everyone has his or her own version of heaven. Susiesresembles the athletic fields and landscape of a suburban high school: aheaven of her simplest dreams, where there were no teachers.... Wenever had to go inside except for art class.... The boys did not pinch ourbacksides or tell us we smelled; our textbooks were Seventeen andGlamour and Vogue. The Lovely Bones works as an odd yet affectingcoming-of-age story. Susie struggles to accept her death while stillclinging to the lost world of the living, following her familys dramas overthe years like an episode of My So-Called Afterlife. Her family
disintegrates in their grief: her father becomes determined to find herkiller, her mother withdraws, her little brother Buckley attempts to makesense of the new hole in his family, and her younger sister Lindsey movesthrough the milestone events of her teenage and young adult years withSusie riding spiritual shotgun. Random acts and missed opportunities runthroughout the book--Susie recalls her sole kiss with a boy on Earth aslike an accident--a beautiful gasoline rainbow. Though sentimental attimes, The Lovely Bones is a moving exploration of loss and mourningthat ultimately puts its faith in the living and that is made even morepowerful by a cast of convincing characters. Sebold orchestrates a bigfinish, and though things tend to wrap up a little too well for everyone inthe end, one can only imagine (or hope) that heaven is indeed a placefilled with such happy endings. --Brad Thomas ParsonsPersonal Review: The Lovely Bones by Alice SeboldYou know I get it, McGrath, I do understand why you hated Alice Seboldsmasterpiece The Lovely Bones. Most of my reviews dont personally goafter another review but this time I just had to take exception. In the onestar review entitled "What they read in hell?" I would like to counter argueeach point he makes with a valid point of my own. I believe that mostgreat novels in the world are either loved or hated. Most of the in betweennovels are just forgotten...and everyone knows the novels that just plainsuck. Its the books that trigger fierce debate, such as masterpieces likeUncle Tom Cabin, Of Mice and Men or The Lord of the Flies and numerousothers. Depending on your own personal beliefs, The Lovely Bones is sucha novel. I believe over time it will endure and become another classic inmodern American literature.The first thing McGrath says in his review is: the book is sentimental andunoriginal. He needs to keep in mind that this is told from the point of viewof a young teen girl that has just been murdered. Of course she is going tomiss her family and many memories are going to be shared. This book attimes is dark and brutal and at other times light and optimistic. It takes usthrough whole gauntlet of emotions. Be warned, this book will drain you.This completely original character has just gone through puberty whereemotions run high in adolescents. She was killed in a traumatic waywhich only adds to her pain inside. Despite her pain, this is not a characterthat asks for our pity or wants it. She is likeable, interesting and complex. Ifound this book remarkably straight forward and unsentimental at times. Idont think its possible for you to put yourself in the mind of a 14 year oldbut somehow I really felt as if I knew her by the end and she became veryreal for me.McGrath makes another joke about how smart all the characters all are,the teen ones anyway. One of the aspects of this book is that its trying tomake us understand that sometimes children with their innocence and lackof cynicism can be more brave and smart at times than even adults canbe.
He complained about the murderer being cold, lonely and single. Duh. Ithink a lot of pedophiles are that way and I felt the savage evil beast hewas just as vividly as any villain I have ever encountered. While his deathmight be a bit unrealistic, this is a fantasy reality story narrated by a deadgirl in heaven. The readers deserved a just end for him after all hishorrendous acts, but the author cleverly gave us an ending for him wedidnt expect. This book is not for everybody, of course, but I thought thefantasy elements in the novel were melancholy and stunning, mixinghorrific everyday life tragedy with the spiritually sublime elements of theafterlife with ease and power.McGrath states that the police are very diligent but just cant seem to figureout what is going on with the investigation. First off, how intelligent are thedetectives when a fathers instinct turns out to be correct and during themost pivotal moment in the investigation the detective commits adespicable act which lets the murderer walk free because of his absence.The reader needs to keep in mind the time line of the story when they readthis book. This story took place in the 70s. There was no CSI back thenon the murder scene to investigate the forensic evidence found. Back thenwithout cold hard proof you had nothing. A story like this would not berealistic thirty years later in todays world. And besides, the detective wasan unfocused character and ultimately a failure. That is part of Seboldsstory. Does McGrath think that every missing girl murder back in the 70swas solved? Im eerily sure that there were cases pretty much just like thisback then that didnt get solved either. I didnt find the investigationunrealistic at all, even though the core of this book is really about theunraveling of Susies family in the wake of the murder. Also, the narrator isa voyeur, so in hindsight everything seems obvious to us because we aretold the tale by the all knowing.Finally, and this is not McGraths complaint but it is the novels mostmentioned and controversial point. In her brief moments on earth, SusieSalmon chooses to have sex with her crush rather than do somethingimportant. Many people wonder why a girl that has been assaulted wouldeven think about something like that with her precious moments left. Thisis only my opinion on why it works but I can understand some skepticismabout it. This is a very unusual scene that bothered me at first but themore I thought about it, the more I realized why it was there and that itneeded to be. Through the whole ordeal, Susie had been looking down onher family. She saw her mothers adultery. Her sisters loss of virginity.And Susie herself had sex in the cruelest way possible. I think part of herwanted redemption from that act, so she wouldnt always view that act withsuch sadness and disgust. I can understand why in all her pain she wouldwant a brief moment of pleasure. She saw her mother do it and her sistertoo. Why didnt she go warn someone? Well, lets be realistic, mostpeople would think she was crazy if she did that and in the end it mightscare and hurt her family more than comfort them. Her father had alreadygotten in trouble previously for making accusations. And why didnt shehelp someone discover the evidence she needed to convict her killer?
Because I think if you were raped you wouldnt want to return to the lair ithappened and risk running into your murderer again and then possiblygetting your friend raped and murdered in the process because it wasntyour own body you were using. Thats why she didnt go back. Instead,she had a selfish moment for herself...and didnt she deserve it? Shouldntwe just be happy she got to experience some final moment joy, instead ofa probable failure she might have caused had she went to the authoritiesor her family? Susie was smart and she had thought out all theconsequences carefully in her mind before she made this decision.If McGrath ever does end up reading my counter argument, I hope heknows I mean no hard feelings by it. Its just one persons opinion againstanothers. This book is one of the best novels ever written; sure to makemy top ten list. Its that good. To anyone reading this review, I encourageyou to buy this book and form your own opinion on it..The Lovely Bones iscertain to either leave you feeling terrible like McGrath or spellbound andovercome with emotion like I was.Grade: A For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price!