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September 26, 2022

Book Review: "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold

By Tedi Trindle

"The Lovely Bones", Alice Sebold's debut novel, is a stunning and ambitious fiction premiere. Sebold courageously tackles what may be the most horrific human scenario of all, what happens to a family and a community when a young girl is brutally raped, murdered and dismembered. As daunting as this subject is, Sebold additionally challenges herself by writing from the viewpoint of heaven through the eyes of the murdered girl, 14-year-old Susie Salmon.

Sebold opens the story with a painstaking and poignant description of Susie's heaven and a recounting of the events that led to her death. With masterful strokes, she paints an intricately intimate portrait of small-town American life and a happy family shattered by the ultimate tragedy.

The reader follows Sebold through a tableau of pain, grief, recovery and renewal. What could have emerged as a tale which only horrifies and saddens is instead an uplifting story of love and endurance in Sebold's capable hands. She has created a masterpiece of fiction destined to become an American classic. A must read!

"The Lovely Bones" is now available in paperback from Back Bay Books, ISBN: 0316168815.
Article © Tedi Trindle. All rights reserved.
Published on 2004-05-15
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