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The Lovely Bones: Author's Truth and Grief Is Reflected In A True Story of Lucky

Updated on February 16, 2011

The Lovely Bones is a novel by Alice Sebold. A light read and enjoyable, this book has helped many people overcome what is known as the five stages of grief by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.

"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when i was murdered on December 6,1973. My murderer was a man from our neighbourhood. My mother liked his border flowers and my father talked to him once about fertilizer."

This we are told right from the first chapter and literally on the first page too. Susie Salmon narrates the book from heaven which is similar to her school playground. Whatever Susie wants will appear as soon as she thinks about it with one exception: she cannot have what she wants most; to be alive and back on earth with her family.

The novel is narrated over many years, and watches the development of characters how they deal with the loss of Susie. Both friends and family deal with this loss in a different way and reflects who they are as a character.

The themes involved with this novel include not only grief, but adultery, rape, violence and forgiveness. This bildungsroman (coming-of-age novel) is a truly inspirational guide to overcoming tragedy. The heaven used is somewhat symbollic and follows no religion. One could see why there is no religion as those who belong to other religions would simply put the book down after finding out that this heaven has a God.

Released shortly after the 9/11 attacks on America in which many people died as a result of terrorist attacks, this book provided the families who lost members in the attacks with a sense of comfort knowing that their loved ones were in a better place. A quote from the novel from Susie is " it is beautiful here (regarding heaven), that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe."

Alice Sebold wrote another book before The Lovely Bones called Lucky. The true story was based on her horrific rape and struggle to overcome it. The Lovely Bones reflects part of Sebold's experience and soul while not as gruesome as the attack in Lucky.

The novel is available in book stores and hopefully in the local library. The Times described this book as "Complusive enough to read in a single sitting, brilliantly intelligent, elegantly constructed and ultimately intriguing." The novel has been produced into a film which is due in Decemeber 2009.


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      Gina 22 months ago

      This was truly a sad movie for me to watch. I watched it 4-16 several times. Any story with truth I will watch. How pathetic and sad that our children are taken from us like this. May this child and all who have lost their lives in this manner. ....REST IN PEACE. BE AWARE YOU NEVER CAN TELL WHO YOUR NEIGHBOR IS.

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      Patrick Wilson 2 years ago

      I just watch this movie. 02/13/2016 May the young girl's/Lady's, rest in peace. So sad,;( always remember, live life to the fullest. and one day we'll all be together in the heaven. Only the good!! and the angels, up in heaven, are watching down on us.

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      Ashleyrichmond 5 years ago

      Iloved this movie and yes it was sad

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      kitty 6 years ago

      Just watched the movie... *on HBO* .. its so intriguing and emotional, I just could not decide whether to feel sorry and sad for Susie or gland and happy that she is in heaven.. In the begining it was really depressed to think that she will be alone and lonely in the gazebo .. and with Holly appearing only occassionally. Later, as the storyline goes deeeper and more things are revealed..can't help but felt happy and glad that she is all safe and happy at last, and not alone anymore.. I will definitely read the book to get the gist of it. "}

    • citychick profile image

      citychick 6 years ago from Ulster County, New York

      I didn't read the book, but I saw the movie, which was very powerful. If you haven't seen it, you should. I think I'll read the book now, too. Thanks for the hub.

    • CiscoPixie profile image

      CiscoPixie 8 years ago from I'm in a world of my own, but aren't we all?

      Thank you immartin and deborrah :) it is a good book. We had it as a school read and that's why i decided to write a hub about it

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 8 years ago

      Cisco Pixie, Lovely Bones this sounds like a great read! Nice book review! Thank you for sharing! Blessings!

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 8 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      I was glad to see this book review. I read this book several years ago, and it is a wonderful read -- so different in its voice and story development. And if anyone is interested in my opinion, I give it a thumbs up.