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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
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The Lovely Bones (original 2002; edition 2003)

by Alice Sebold

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
30,00186130 (3.71)642
Member:blakslaks
Title:The Lovely Bones
Authors:Alice Sebold
Info:Picador (2003), Edition: Other Printing, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (2002)

  1. 51
    Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Maiasaura)
  2. 84
    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (leahsimone)
  3. 20
    The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Both books display the effects on a family of the murder of a child.
  4. 10
    The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Despite differences in plot -- a teenager's post-murder afterlife in The Lovely Bones, and civilization's slow, steady collapse in the aftermath of disaster in The Age of Miracles -- the thoughtful young heroines of these melancholy, haunting stories are similar to one another.… (more)
  5. 43
    White Oleander by Janet Fitch (leahsimone)
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    Atonement by Ian McEwan (RocknRain)
  7. 21
    The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard (WildMaggie)
  8. 11
    The Book of Fred by Abby Bardi (Bookmarque)
    Bookmarque: Not as sentimental as this. A very good coming of age novel.
  9. 11
    Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (Jen7waters)
  10. 00
    Unstolen by Wendy Jean (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold may be paired withUnstolen by Wendy Jean. Both novels deal with death and crime and how it affects the families left behind
  11. 33
    The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (nu-bibliophile)
  12. 44
    Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (sarah-e)
    sarah-e: Though not as emotionally charged, this deals with independence and death and ghosts.
  13. 00
    Shade: A Novel by Neil Jordan (ShelfMonkey)
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    The September Sisters by Jillian Cantor (meggyweg)
  15. 11
    Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (jbarry)
  16. 12
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  17. 01
    A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton (TheFlamingoReads)
    TheFlamingoReads: A melancholy story of how people deal with the death of a child.
  18. 01
    La fortuna de Matilda Turpin by Álvaro Pombo (albavirtualy)
  19. 01
    La mirada del otro by Fernando G Delgado (albavirtualy)
  20. 01
    Where I Want to Be by Adele Griffin (jbarry)
    jbarry: touching arration from heaven

(see all 27 recommendations)

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» See also 642 mentions

English (835)  French (5)  Dutch (5)  Italian (4)  All (2)  Spanish (2)  Norwegian (1)  All (1)  Catalan (1)  All (856)
Showing 1-5 of 835 (next | show all)
I was so overwhelmed with emotion while reading this book, it's hard to pinpoint any one specific thing that I liked. Alice Sebold is a wonderful story teller. This is probably one of the best books I've read in the last year. ( )
  Erica_Coomer | Jul 13, 2018 |
I was so disappointed in the book, yes I read it because of the movie and I have to say, after reading it I didn't want to see the movie. It just felt like it goes on and on and nothing happens. I actually did end up watching the movie, a first for me, the movie was better than the book, not much better however. ( )
  GrlIntrrptdRdng | Jul 9, 2018 |
I'm kind of torn about this book.

Sebold's writing style appealed to me, and I didn't really dislike any of the characters. I understood the loss described, and the book itself... We want to know that life goes on after we're gone, and we want to know that people remember and think about us. That was all well and good for the book. Then why the two stars?

Something about the plot just didn't work with me. I don't know if it was the fact that everyone was broken that turned me off, or if it was just the fact that not a great amount of things happened in the book. It felt a bit fractured to me - there wasn't enough in heaven and there wasn't enough outside of it.

For me, the book didn't work. For others, it has worked wonders. I'm glad I read it, it just wasn't quite to my taste over all. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
Could not finish. The story idea was a good one but it was not well executed. The characters were hard to like and the plot was dragging and never got interesting. The writing, well, I have seen much better. I tired and I tried to finish but there was nothing holding me in the book: the language, the characters, nor the plot. ( )
  1forthebooks | May 22, 2018 |
Inizialmente ero piuttosto riluttante per il fatto che questa lettura mi era stata data dalla mia insegnante di italiano, che, si sa, sceglie libri assurdamente noiosi, perfersi o deprimenti. Questa volta però mi sono dovuta davvero ricredere: certo, il libro è molto triste e ho pianto più di una volta, ma allo stesso tempo mi ha riempita di sentimenti dolci e confortanti. Non credo nel Paradiso o nell'Inferno, non sono nemmeno credente per il momento, ma il pensiero che coloro a cui volevamo bene e che non ci sono più ci osservano dall'alto in un certo senso mi rassicura, perchè è quasi come se fossero partiti per un lungo viaggio ma potessero tornare da un momento all'altro. Non è da leggere tutto in un giorno, ma da assaporare un po' alla volta e riflettere un po' su questa storia che, magari a qualcuno potrebbe sembrare assurda, ma molte cose sono reali, purtroppo. Fin dall'inizio avevo capito che non sarebbe stato uno dei soliti libri, infatti nelle prime righe la protagonista descrive il suo assassinio in maniera così semplice e quasi distaccata da far quasi rabbrividire. Un'opera che lascia letteralmente il segno sul lettore, ve lo garantisco.

Personaggio preferito: Lindsey Salmon

Credo che Lindsey mi abbia colpita così tanto perchè per molti versi mi somiglia: quel continuo tentativo di nascondere il dolore sotto strati di calma e indifferenza e quella rabbia contenuta pronta a scoppiare da un momento all'altro. E' l'unica che crede incondizionatamente al padre, anche quando ormai tutti hanno rinunciato, ed è una sorella esemplare per il piccolo Buckley. Inoltre trovo ammirevole la sua forze d'animo: continua ad essere vista dagli altri come "la sorella della ragazza morta" e non semplicemente come Lindsey, è costretta a vivere con l'ombra costante di Susie alle sue spalle, senza poter essere un'entità separata. Credo sia una cosa molto difficile da sopportare psicologicamente, senza poi contare i vari problemi familiari, a partire dal padre che non riconosce la morte della figlia e la madre che vuole fuggire da tutto ( )
  Shay17 | Mar 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 835 (next | show all)
Sebold's compelling and sometimes poetic prose style and unsparing vision transform Susie's tragedy into an ultimately rewarding novel.
added by bell7 | editLibrary Journal (Aug 25, 2009)
 
Although some sections tend toward melodrama... other passages are dreamy and lyrical. Most striking is Sebold's mastery of a teenager's voice, from such small details as Susie's Strawberry-Banana Kissing Potion to her completely believable thought processes.
 
An extraordinary, almost-successful debut that treats sensational material with literary grace, narrated from heaven by the victim of a serial killer and pedophile.
added by bell7 | editKirkus Reviews (Aug 1, 2002)
 
Don't start "Lovely Bones" unless you can finish it. The book begins with more horror than you could imagine, but closes with more beauty than you could hope for.
 
Sebold takes an enormous risk in her wonderfully strange début novel: her narrator, Susie Salmon, is dead—murdered at the age of fourteen by a disturbed neighbor—and speaks from the vantage of Heaven. Such is the author's skill that from the first page this premise seems utterly believable... If in the end she reaches too far, the book remains a stunning achievement.
added by Shortride | editThe New Yorker (Jul 15, 2002)
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alice Seboldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bresnahan, AlyssaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
Always, Glen
First words
My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie.
Inside the snow globe on my father's desk, there was a penguin wearing a red-and-white-striped scarf.
Quotations
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 primarily that 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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The Lovely Bones is a moving exploration of loss and mourning that ultimately puts its faith in the living made even more powerful by a cast of convincing characters.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316168815, Paperback)

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 underground den in a cornfield and brutally raped and murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer--the man she knew as her neighbor, Mr. Harvey.

Alice Sebold's haunting and heartbreaking debut novel, The Lovely Bones, 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 like an episode of My So-Called Afterlife. 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

Look Inside the Motion Picture The Lovely Bones (Paramount, 2010)
(Click on each image below to see a larger view)


Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon
Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon
Mark Wahlberg as Jack Salmon
Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon and Director Peter Jackson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:43 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

This is the tale of family, memory, love, and living told by 14-year-old Susie Salmon, who is already in heaven. Through the voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and builds out of her family's grief a hopeful and joyful story.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 23 descriptions

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