The Lovely Bones is Alice Sebold’s debut novel, a remarkable story about love and family and letting go. Susie Salmon is 14 when she is raped and murdered by a neighbor, a serial killer of women who moves from town to town after each of his crimes. Susie’s death sends her family into a tailspin as they each try to cope with the tragedy in their own way. Susie narrates the story from heaven, watching her friends, family, and the murderer move on with their lives. Alice Sebold does a wonderful job catching the rhythms and interactions of a family and community, and is surprising at times with the strength of her prose in a story about loss and finding the love that was never gone.


The novel draws from the author’s personal experiences from when she was raped during her freshman year at Syracuse University. In Lucky, Sebold’s 1997 memoir of the event and its aftermath, she describes how it transformed her life, especially after learning that the rapist’s previous victim had died. After later seeing the rapist on the street, she reported him to the police and eventually testified against him. He was convicted and received the maximum sentence.


Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones is a mesmerizing tale that will leave you deeply affected long after finishing it. It starts off telling you about the murder of fourteen year old Susie Salmon. Late one cold December evening, Susie took a shortcut on her way home from school and was raped and murdered by her long time neighbor Mr. Harvey. This sentimental story is narrated by Susie while she watches over her friends and family in her heaven. She sees her father try to fit all the pieces of her murder together, her little brother and sister grow up before her eyes, the sad detective who is helping her family solve this mystery, the horrible man who ended her life so shortly, and other grieving loved ones. One very important person to her is a boy she had her first kiss with she remembers as “like an accident–a beautiful gasoline rainbow.” I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. After finishing this novel it made me realize what things in life are actually important and worth living for. Even though it is filled with much sorrow, there is hope and just the right amount of heart.
The Lovely Bones was so amazing and like nothing I have ever read before. Once I started reading I couldn’t stop and didn’t want to put the book down. I would recommend this book to everybody…