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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones (original 2002; edition 2006)

by Alice Sebold

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26,37276542 (3.72)571
Title:The Lovely Bones
Authors:Alice Sebold
Info:Little, Brown and Company (2006), Edition: First Edition first Printing, Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (2002)

  1. 63
    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (leahsimone)
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    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
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    jbarry: touching arration from heaven
  17. 23
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» See also 571 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 744 (next | show all)
An interesting concept of heaven coupled with a delicately handled depiction of a gruesome crime (the rape and murder of young Susie Salmon). Characters (including the horrible Mr Harvey) well drawn, with a compassion for human frailty that never slips into saccharine "feel good" writing. Left me swirling with melancholy, tinged with hope that even through the most awful of human tragedies, love and friendship and family can survive. ( )
  JudyCroome | Aug 29, 2014 |
I make it a rule not to read other fiction while I'm working on my own novels, but now that [b:Enchantress: A Novel of Rav Hisda's Daughter|20821076|Enchantress A Novel of Rav Hisda's Daughter|Maggie Anton|/assets/nocover/60x80.png|40166974], the sequel to [b:Rav Hisda's Daughter, Book I: Apprentice: A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery|13542525|Rav Hisda's Daughter, Book I Apprentice A Novel of Love, the Talmud, and Sorcery|Maggie Anton|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1333225010s/13542525.jpg|19106814], is finished, I have time to catch up on the books on my 'to-read' shelf.

It's a good thing I didn't read this novel earlier, because it is so well-written, with such an incredible plot and protagonist, that I would have been too discouraged to think I could even come close to writing so well. What a page-turner! I read it all in one night.

[a:Maggie Anton|79249|Maggie Anton|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1337899260p2/79249.jpg] ( )
  Maggie.Anton | Jul 18, 2014 |
Alice Sebold's story has a ring of veracity and hope to it. Her prose is mesmerizing and is both bold and delicate in style. I stayed up all night reading it. It is the kind of story that ruins you for less-gifted writers. ( )
  lisa-ann | Jul 17, 2014 |
Powerful but easy to get swallowed by the sadness of it. ( )
  twerkysandwich | Jul 10, 2014 |
Is it possible to heal on the heel of tragedy?
  lseitz | Jul 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 744 (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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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.
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 19 descriptions

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Average: (3.72)
0.5 33
1 243
1.5 53
2 613
2.5 165
3 1936
3.5 478
4 3115
4.5 292
5 1967


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