My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name: Susie.
You would be surprised the treasures you can find at Good Will. I usually have to shrug off the fear of “germs everywhere” in thrift stores like that, but once I’m in, I’m good. That was the case when I stepped into my local Good Will. I walked into the store subconsciously hoping to find a certain book that I have been longing to read for quite some time.
I found three books- each for only a dollar. One was The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather, the other was The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters (I started it, but never finished it.) The one I was looking for was there: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.
I didn’t know what to suspect when I cracked open the already wrinkled spine. There was a ton of hype about it years ago when the movie came out. I knew it was about a girl who was murdered and watched her family from Heaven. Other than that, nothing.
Chilling. Heartbreaking. Inspiring.
are the three words that would describe this novel in that order.
The famed novel starts with Susie Salmon, an average 14 year old girl in the early 1970s walking home from school. She’s the oldest out of her two siblings and is eagerly awaiting high school. Susie encounters her odd neighbor, Mr. Harvey. He lures her into his “fort” that he has been making for the kids of the neighborhood where he rapes and kills her.
Susie continues to watch over her family, friends, and killer from her own personal Heaven. Her family tries to figure out how to cope without Susie in their lives. Her sister, Lindsey, brainiac and strong-willed, swallows her grief and trudges forward with the gigantic burden in her heart while their mother loses herself.
Susie’s father, Jack, is also consumed with grief, but he cannot help but run with a suspesion that George Harvey killed his little girl. He pours himself into finding her killer and bringing them to justice.
While all of this is going on, Susie cannot help but watch her family from her own paradise in Heaven. Everything in her Heaven was perfect, from the smell to the scenery, but she wasn’t at peace. The only thing that could bring her peace was rightful justice for her death.
Even though I wanted to read The Lovely Bones for the longest time, I was still hesitant to actually read it. I didn’t know what to expect. I hoped there was no gore or anything that would be emotionally hard to handle. Although the story is tragic and horrifying, it is written in a way that clearly describes without overplaying the details.
The Lovely Bones is an engaging book that keeps you reading from beginning to end. It wasn’t the kind of novel that is hard to get started because it starts off slow. That was quite the opposite, actually. The book is exciting while keeping a balance of climaxes and more descriptive passages.
One of my favorite things about The Lovely Bones is that you get a sense that you are in the scene, just watching. It was if I could step into the book and just watch the events play out. There were times I would want to reach out to the characters and comfort them.
If you are looking for a fiction book that isn’t too terribly long, but very well written, The Lovely Bones is right for you. Engaging, powerful, and ultimately uplifting, it will make you appreciate the breath of life.