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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
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The Lovely Bones (original 2002; edition 2009)

by Alice Sebold

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25,948None42 (3.72)563
Member:3tms
Title:The Lovely Bones
Authors:Alice Sebold
Info:Back Bay Books (2009), Edition: 1 Mti Rep, Paperback, 368 pages
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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (2002)

(53) 21st century (50) adult (53) afterlife (412) American (109) American literature (60) book club (78) coming of age (64) contemporary (76) contemporary fiction (140) crime (204) death (632) drama (70) family (424) fantasy (106) favorite (51) fiction (2,534) ghosts (174) grief (233) heaven (335) literature (65) love (64) murder (791) mystery (400) novel (263) own (144) rape (350) read (400) to-read (189) unread (77)
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» See also 563 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 739 (next | show all)
This is a haunting, well written book that tells the story of Susie Salmon, who was murdered at 14 by a serial killer who was never caught. Narrated by Susie herself, she watches over her family from her version of the afterlife. It's a very compelling story, one I almost could not put down... ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 10, 2014 |
I loved the main characters version of heaven(14 years old). Sadness prevails but Susie(main character) is happy and secure in heaven. She is able to see into the lives of those who touched her in life and death. Author makes you feel like you are there with Susie feeling those emotions,, the fear, the anger and then in place in heaven - no rage, no judgment just the facts as they are. Awesome first novel.
  ac19193 | Apr 9, 2014 |
Well, I read half of it. The subject matter was hard for me on an emotional level. Very well written, but I kept envisioning my two daughters instead of Sebold's characters.

I finally gave up reading it. Maybe I'll try again after my girls grow up safely. ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
Well, I read half of it. The subject matter was hard for me on an emotional level. Very well written, but I kept envisioning my two daughters instead of Sebold's characters.

I finally gave up reading it. Maybe I'll try again after my girls grow up safely. ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
Good, and easy enough read, but extremely depressing. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 739 (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 editionsconfirmed
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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:45 -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 15 descriptions

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