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"The Lovely Bones"

I read The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold, many moons ago, and yet in the
last few months it seems to have made a comeback, regularly appearing
in the “Top 10” shelves in Smiths, or being read by people on the train.
Let’s be frank – this is not a nice book, deeply disturbing with no
holds barred about the rape and subsequent murder of the book’s subject,
one Susie Salmon. Let’s just say I was glad I read it before our little boy
was born! I should probably also mention that, being so long ago, some of
the details are a little hazy, so this is more recollection/reflection.

The concept is fascinating – a little girl killed before her
time, looking down from heaven as she and her family come to terms with what’s
happened, as we (and they) piece together the precise sequence of events
and who is responsible. It’s very sympathetically written, with very
believable characters and I really was upset by the girl’s murder (the book
proceeds on parallel tracks at first, with Susie simultaneously relating
her life and last days, and also what is happening since her death) and
came to care a lot about her family over the years (decades?) that follow.

The book is essentially upbeat though, with plenty of resolution at the end,
and as happy an ending you could expect – the subject matter is brutal though,
and dealt with in that way!

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