In "The Lovely Bones" we meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon after she has already died. The book then follows her family cope with her death as she watches them from Heaven. Her parents marriage begins to crumble, her sister becomes a rock in order to stay strong, and her little brother tries to understand the finality of death. She is forced to watch her killer evade capture and go free. Through it all the book manages to stay suprisingly upbeat. Susie watches her family grow and move on without her while trying to find her place in their memory.
This report prepared by Beverly Walters
Little, Brown, Jun 2002, 21.95, 328 pp.
Teenager Susie Salmon looks down from her heaven to observe her family suffering from grief over her disappearance. She also sees her killer trying to cover his odious deed. As the next few weeks pass, Susie continues to watch as her parents' marriage seems to disintegrate as neither can cope with not knowing whether she lived; her sister turns into an unfeeling rock to be strong; and her little brother cannot understand what happened to Susie.
Her heaven is a playground, but the swings are perfect. Counselors help Susie and other newcomers cope and she makes new friends. However, heaven cannot give her what she most desires. She wants to be back with her loving family as they seek closure in different ways.
Any reader lucky enough to peruse THE LOVELY BONES will know how fortunate they are to be in on the early stages of what appears to be a super talent. The creative story line is deftly handled so that the audience can follow how various key players, especially the Salmon family insuring Susie, cope or not with their loss. Alice Sebold provides a tremendous character driven tale that though melancholy yet optimist makes reading a heaven on earth.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner