Thursday, April 29, 2010

Justine's Thoughts: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones
By Alice Sebold



Book Description:

Susie Salmon, murdered at age fourteen, is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, while back on earth her grief-stricken family is unravelling. Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, The Lovely Bones succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humour, suspense, even joy. This phenomenal #1 bestseller is a novel celebrated at once for its narrative artistry, its luminous clarity of emotion, and its astonishing power to lay claim to the hearts of millions of readers around the world.

A quote:

Between a man and a woman there was always one person who was stronger than the other one. That doesn’t mean the weaker one doesn’t love the stronger.

Any thoughts:

Alice Sebold explores the aftermath of someone who has passed. It’s unbelievably wonderful. Her writing is purely magnificent; every single line is quotable (expect many quotes from this novel for Friday’s Finest) and powerful. I liked it regardless of a few things, and I would suggest this to anyone who is looking for a deep read.

I watched the movie first. Let me just say that it was beautifully depressing. Heaven was perceived as a fanatical place, one’s favourite place to be. It’s so colourful and lively, that I wanted to pause and look everywhere. But I couldn’t. I would get the DVD, but at the same time, I wouldn’t. I’m not too sure that the plot is right for me. When I say it’s ‘beautifully depressing’, I’m talking about both the quality (‘beautifully’) and the plot (‘depressing’).

The movie covered half of the book, which I suppose is understandable considering that the book stretches on for years after Susie’s death and that the movie can only be a certain amount of time long. I have to say, however, that it was put together well. It was wrapped up quite nicely and I was satisfied.

Now onto the book. Alice Sebold writes the truth. She tells the story with such a voice that makes you slow down and absorb the words. It definitely makes you think in that way. And the experience of having to go through grief, you could almost feel it. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I didn’t feel myself present in the book. Maybe it was because Susie was in heaven and she was watching the events occur as a witness, or maybe I just didn’t connect. Whatever it is, it didn’t grip me, and that was a problem, for I found myself being too eager to finish the book.

The plot is a little disturbing, to be honest, especially how she was murdered. But Alice Sebold focuses on how the characters, including Susie in heaven and her murderer, get through it, ever so realistically. It just seemed like it dragged on for a long time. The beginning was great and afterwards it began to slow down then I started losing interest. Nevertheless, its beauty with words got through to me and kept me going.

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