The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have always been a fan of murder-mystery-drama books, Dennis Lehane being my favorite master of this genre. In reading the Lovely Bones, it was such an interesting perspective to have the narrator be the victim, Susie Salmon, to know 'who-done-it' from the very start, and to watch the deceased navigate through the author's take on 'heaven' while observing all that was left behind.
I liked that Sebold took on the task of letting us watch a child watch the devastation take hold of her family, and that she was not allowed to intervene. There were no signals etched into steamy mirrors from the after-life (save for one scene that you'll have to have your own take on), which made me like it more instead of less because it made it more plausible, If that's what you're looking for. The dysfunction in the adult relationships paired with the perfection in the adolescent ones may have been simple naivate on the part of Susie, or it may have been just the purity and lack of baggage that allowed them to flourish the way they did.
I was determined to read this book before I saw the movie, because I always get more out of the movie knowing what they left out. I doubt, for example, they'll provide as much back-story of George Harvey and his dysfunctional child-hood. Though it's not hard to deduce that a serial killer probably didn't have a perfect beginning.
The title stems from the following passage; "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. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it. The events my death brought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous lifeless body had been my life."
I was really excited to see the Mark Wahlberg will be playing Jack Salmon. In reading the character, you could see him very easily in the role. In all, I really liked this book, although I have to say I was mildly dissatisfied with the ending. Read for yourself to see how you feel.
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