Wednesday, January 27, 2010

#4 - The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones
By: Alice Sebold
328 pages
Published: 2002
ISBN: 0316666343
My Copy: Mooched via PaperBackSwap

This book was the first pick of the year for my book club. Did I mention I have a book club? Well, I do. This is our third year of getting together. Right now, we have about 8 members and meet every 6 weeks on a Wednesday night at my house. That means we will be reading 8 titles total this year (each member picks one and then leads a discussion on it). It is a wonderful group of ladies and I really enjoy having everyone over to snack and discuss literature. In fact, I got the idea to read 100 books this year from one of the other book club members, Cassie. She did the same thing last year and I thought, "hey, I'd like to try that, too!"

We only read contemporary fiction, so selections have to be from that pool. Kelly picked The Lovely Bones, which was a timely choice because of the movie coming out. I really enjoyed the book. And I can see why it is very popular with book clubs - we had a very lively discussion! There's a lot going on in the novel, so it is great for a small group to chew over.

The novel centers on the rape and murder of 13-year old Susie Salmon. Susie narrates the entire book from heaven, where she watches and observes the lives of her family members, the people in her town, and her murderer. It raises a lot of questions about healing and forgiveness after tragedy. Without giving too much away, I loved the growth of the characters in the book and how the author takes a book about one thing (the rape and murder of a young child) and moves it away from being predictable or trite.

As I found out after reading the book, Alice Sebold was herself raped as a college freshman and so I'm sure a lot of her own experience of coming to terms with a horrific event has informed the book and, I think, given it authenticity and depth.

I would heartily recommend the book to other book clubs or to friends who want an interesting read.

My Rating: B+

PS - We are all going to see the movie together, so I'll post a review of that once we see it!

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