The Lovely Bones | Teen Ink

The Lovely Bones

November 16, 2007
By Anonymous

The Lovely Bones
By Alice Sebold

The lives of the citizens in Norristown, Pennsylvania, are suddenly overturned with the disappearance and murder of fourteen year old Susie Salmon in the mysterious and thought-provoking novel, The Lovely Bones. Author Alice Sebold instantly grasps you attention and maintains hold as protagonist Susie reveals the secrets of her murder and describes life in the Salmon family without her. Although publicized in 2002, this 1970's based novel will surely convince readers that "Nothing is ever certain".

In suburban Norristown, Pennsylvania, life appears calm and uneventful. On December 6, 1973; however, the Salmon family wishes it was always that way. When Jack and Abigail Salmon's oldest daughter is raped and murdered, it sends a ripple effect across the town, as innocent teen Ray Singh, detective Len Fenerman, and even simple acquaintance Ruth Connors are drawn into the mystery of who killed Susie Salmon.

While infant Buckley and pre-teen Lindsey struggle with the loss of their older sister, Susie watches them from her personalized heaven as they grow, mature, and begin to understand death. As susie desperately tries to reveal clues to find her missing body, her family and the community begin to lose hope and attempt to move past the tragedy. Witnessing life on Earth as a fourteen year old girl in heaven provides a "Prismacolor understanding" of the emotions and insanity a close family experiences after the loss of a loved one.

Mature concepts and detailed descriptions of various violent acts are included throughout this memorable novel. After engaging myself in the loves of Norristown citizens, I would recommend a more mature reading audience of at least fifteen or sixteen years of age. Also, victims of abuse or those sensitive to the topics of death and murder should refrain from this otherwise sensational novel. Readers obtain many different perspectives on living life to the fullest and an almost divine sense of life and death. Readers are given the opportunity to look within themselves and discover what their beliefs of heaven are. As Ruth Connors reveals so eloquently, "I don't mean la-la angel-wong crap, but I do think there's a heaven".


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