Review of ‘The Lovely Bones’ by Alice Sebold

Again (really bad, oops) I watched the movie ‘The Lovely Bones’ years before I read the book. I already knew it was going to be such a good read based on how amazingly heartbreaking the movie was. This is such a heartbreaking book, but may be triggering for some people to read. The plot of the book is made even more disturbing (yet very real) when the background of the author is taken into consideration ( I suggest reading ‘Lucky’ by Alice Sebold, if you wish to understand how the author was able to write the events that occur in ‘The Lovely Bones’ so vividly).

The allusions made to Sebold’s experiences are important as they allow an exploration of a dark reality of the repercussions of acts of violence (in this case, rape and murder) and how these acts can haunt an entire society. Sebold explores the effects of the death of Susie Salmon on numerous members of society, such as her friends, family and wrongly accused suspects. The use of the first person narrator allows for the author to really explore the point of view of the victim, one that is not often shared due to obvious reasons. By looking at the earth from heaven, Susie is able to have an overview of all that happens after her murder, in this case she can definitely be described as an omniscient narrator.

I wouldn’t class this novel as a murder mystery, as the reader is already aware of who the murderer is. However, the reader gets to experience how the family and friends of the victim cope with such a violent act that has directly affected them, as well as to explore the continuing journey of the young life that has been cut short. Alongside this, I think that the way in which the family are seen interacting with the murderer definitely made me want to read on to see if justice would be served.

I don’t want to give too much away incase you haven’t watched the movie or read the book but I do recommend reading this. It is difficult to read and did make me feel uncomfortable at some points, but I think that is important in order for the text to truly allow a reader to grasp the issues that it deals with.

Happy reading!

Meg x

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