09 January 2011

1. The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

This book has been sitting on our sehlves for years. My wife started reading it a long time ago and set it aside. I decided to pick it up. I never thought I would.

I thought it was a "girls" book. You know, like Janet Evanovich or Jackie Collins. Maybe more like Jodie Picoult and the Sister's Keeper type.

Then they made a movie and I heard that it was a "horror" movie. I still don't know where I heard that and I have yet to see the movie. I still don't understand why it was called "horror".

What I found was a book about the rape and murder of a fourteen year old girl in 1973. Her body was never recovered and the murder was never solved.

What was good is that the entire book is narrated by the murder victim herself over the years and decades following her own murder. She follows the lives of her family members, friends and her neighbors. She even follows the murderer at times.

It was a very interesting perspective from which to hear a story told. I do not recall another like it, though it has probably been done before.

Despite the violent and disturbing subject matter the author handles it with delicacy and grace. It is not overly gruesome or sexually distasteful. I mean, it is a rape, but it does not need to be overtly sexually descruptive to convey a sense of fear and desperation. The author did a good job with that balance.

I think she also did excellent showing the father's internal struggles trying to keep the rest of his family safe, deal with the death of his first born and to see justice served. It had to be immensely frustrating for him. I can not imagine being in his shoes.

It was a good book. I liked it. I did not love it. I will not jump up and down singing it's praises, but I will not tell anyone to avoid it either. If you pick it up you will most likely not hate it. That is a good thing.  :-)

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