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The Lovely Bones is available at

The Lovely Bones

by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones is an engaging and hope filled novel told from the perspective of a fourteen year-old girl after she was murdered.
Published by Back Bay Books 2004,  ISBN 0316168815 [paperback]
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A friend loaned The Lovely Bones to me recently with high recommendations, richly deserved. We see the story unfold through the eyes of Susie Salmon, an adolescent girl who was raped and murdered by a neighbour.

The strange adventure provides intimate insight into the friends and family left behind who were strongly transformed by her death. The result is poignant portrait of the complex relationships between people.

The narrative perspective works well to allow Suzie to follow the many characters, including the man who killed her. The description of Suzie's personal heaven may seem comfortable for some. I have sensitive friends familiar with people dying who would not consider the description of Suzie's afterlife experiences to be simply a literary device. We will all eventually find out for ourselves.

The story is told with honesty, warmth, and hope — one of the more compulsive reads I have had for a while. I could not put the book down for the second half.  I think it is worth a look :-)

paperback reviewed by Greg Dixon
Wednesday, November 10, 2004

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Subject keywords: fiction, literature, novel