Review of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones

Books, Reviews 2 Comments

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, New York, Boston

Year of Publication: 2002

Price: $7.50 US/$9.50 Canada

Paper Back. 372 pages.

Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones I thought was one of those mesmerising books as the blurb promised. It also assured to be a ‘whodunnit’, by the way I am a great admirer of ‘whodunnits’ . So with great excitement I took the book along with me when I travelled to Bhubaneshwar Well,  I managed to finish reading The Lovely Bones but I must say it was disappointing. The story is set in the year 1973 in a small town in US. Susie Salmon on her way from school at the age of 14 is killed by a neighbour, Mr. Harvey. Susie then goes to heaven where she befriends Holly and also learns that heaven is not such a perfect place. The story is narrated from her position of an onlooker who watches what is happening on earth. She is also able to come to earth now and then which we readers can expect to be a ghostly visit. Her eerie presence is only felt by another young girl –Ruth–in the town.

On earth, her family is totally devastated by her death and her father goes into shock and starts neglecting his family. Due to this Susie’s mother leaves the family and goes away. Len the police officer wishes to catch the murderer but is unable to do so. The story then proceeds to unravel the trajectory of Susie’s sister, Lindsey and brother, Buckley’s lives. The novel ends by Harvey been indicted not for Susie’s death but for other murders he had committed earlier. Susie’s parents reunite and Lindsey gets married. The birth of Lindsey’s daughter, Abigail Suzanne is the note of hope and regeneration in the novel.

What really put me off about the novel is its pathetic slow narrative movement, maybe that is the reason reviews have called it captivating and gripping. It may be emotional drama but definitely not my cup of tea. Also the fact that Mr. Harvey gets off with all the crime that too in a nation like US of A is somehow a bit too much to gulp down. Added to this is the fact that the police seem ineffectual and useless. Personally I was disenchanted by the novel. Maybe it may appeal to some.

2 Responses to “Review of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones”

  1. Kalpa Says:
    February 13th, 2010 at 6:43 am

    well, great to see someone read Alice Sebold and also good to know one need not bother to read it.

  2. admin Says:
    February 21st, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    well great to see a paradoxical split personality at work…. I have a few posts coming up in the past weeks and a few updates in the tunnel.. hopefully I have time..

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