A Review Of “The Lovely Bones” By Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones by Alice SeboldThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Rating: Rating: 7 out of 10 stars (7/10)

Mr. Harvey killed the narrator of this tale. She’s 14 years old in heaven, first describing how he lured her into “a hiding place”, raped and killed her (one and the same to many), then describing her family’s aftermath of dealing with her death. Soon after she’s killed, her mother unknowingly meets the murderer on the street:

Mr. Harvey told her the usual: “I hope they get the bastard. I’m sorry for your loss.”
I was in my heaven by that time, fitting my limbs together, and couldn’t believe his audacity. “The man has no shame,” I said to Franny, my intake counsellor. “Exactly,” she said, and made her point as simply as that. There wasn’t a lot of bullshit in my heaven.

This is a well-written, involved story. It’s almost a suspense novel, wondering if the killer will be caught, if the safe some of her body parts were stored in will be found; what her sister or dad will do to him, knowing intuitively the guy who did it. There’s a fantastical element to the story, where the dead protagonist communicates in subtle ways with those she loved; her little brother, her first love… and it almost didn’t work for me. It was like the movie Ghost: touchingly sappy; however, the characters are drawn beautifully; you want everything to work out for them, hoping their grief over her death is concluded sometime, and it is:

The events that my death wrought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous body had been my life.

So yeah, they live happily ever after. It’s a good read. The middle of it almost got tedious for me; I got impatient for the outcome. And some characters appear haphazardly enough that I couldn’t remember who they were; I had to read back or stop and think, Who the hell is Nate? But it’s a good book. It’ll make you believe.