Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Lovely Bones

I read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold after seeing all those commercial for the movie (which I haven't seen yet).

The first chapter is about Susie Salmon's rape and murder. It wasn't as graphic or disturbing as I expected. The rest of the book explores the aftermath of the family, trying to find the perpetrator and dealing with the loss, while Susie watches from the other side.

I thought the explorations of grief as the surviving family was very well done, the way each of the family members reacts differently.

I enjoyed about half of the book. But one scene completely blew it for me. If you've ever seen the movie Heaven Can Wait, well, it suddenly just seemed tired and contrived. After that scene, I couldn't take the rest of the book seriously.

This one's on my Kindle.


  1. never saw the movie Heaven Can Wait, was it the sex scene that threw you?

    I actually enjoyed the book, but I'm twisted like that ;) I appreciated the differing view of Heaven, even as a non believer.
    I'll have to add I have some of Sebold's other work and liked Bones best. The last, which I can't remember the title to, I have yet to complete.

  2. Not the sex scene per se, but the whole soul/body swap. Seen it done so many times, that's why it felt so contrived to me.

  3. I read this about 7 years ago, before I had daughters. I don't know if I could handle it now. But back then, I thought it was a really good book, although I doubt I'll go see the movie. I think back then I was just starting to question my lifelong beliefs in God and the afterlife, and Sebold's portrayal of the afterlife was interesting (Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven didn't do anything for me, for the record). It's a little hard to remember, but I think I recall being disappointed by the ending - maybe that's the sex scene you're referring to? I recall thinking it was silly.

    I've read Alice Sebold's Lucky, which is a memoir, and that was excellent. I have her latest novel, The Almost Moon, but I haven't read it yet. I think it's not gotten very good reviews.