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The Lovely Bones Mass Market Paperback – 1 Sep 2006
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On her way home from school on a snowy December day, 14-year-old Susie Salmon is lured into a cornfield and brutally raped and murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold's haunting and heartbreaking debut novel, unfolds from heaven, where "life is a perpetual yesterday" and where Susie narrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well as her brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case.
As Sebold fashions it, everyone has his or her own version of heaven. Susie's resembles the athletic fields and landscape of a suburban high school: a heaven of her "simplest dreams", where "there were no teachers... We never had to go inside except for art class... The boys did not pinch our backsides or tell us we smelled; our textbooks were Seventeen and Glamour and Vogue".
The Lovely Bones works as an odd yet affecting coming-of-age story. Susie struggles to accept her death while still clinging to the lost world of the living, following her family's dramas over the years. Her family disintegrates in their grief: her father becomes determined to find her killer, her mother withdraws, her little brother Buckley attempts to make sense of the new hole in his family and her younger sister Lindsey moves through the milestone events of her teenage and young adult years with Susie riding spiritual shotgun. Random acts and missed opportunities run throughout the book--Susie recalls her sole kiss with a boy on earth as "like an accident--a beautiful gasoline rainbow".
Though sentimental at times, The Lovely Bones is a moving exploration of loss and mourning that ultimately puts its faith in the living and that is made even more powerful by a cast of convincing characters. Sebold orchestrates a big finish and though things tend to wrap up a little too well for everyone in the end, one can only imagine (or hope) that heaven is indeed a place filled with such happy endings. --Brad Thomas Parsons, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Moving and compelling . . . It will put an imperceptible but stealthily insistent hold on you. I sat down in the morning to read the first couple of pages; five hours later, I was still there, book in hand, transfixed (Maggie O'Farrell Sunday Telegraph)
Spare, beautiful and brutal prose . . . The Lovely Bones is compulsive enough to read in a single sitting, brilliantly intelligent, elegantly constructed and ultimately intriguing (The Times)
Takes the stuff of terrible tragedy and transforms it into something hopeful and redemptive (Daily Mail)
[Sebold] has created a novel that is painfully fine and accomplished, one which readers will have their own difficulties relinquishing, long after the last page is turned (Los Angeles Times)
A chilling juxtaposition of innocence against evil (New Statesman)
Sebold has given us a fantasy-fable of great authority, charm, and daring. She's a one-of-a-kind writer (Jonathan Franzen) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.