Published by Little Brown and Company on Sept 30, 2009
Format: Paperback from Gift
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.”
So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her — her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling. Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, THE LOVELY BONES succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy.
This was a tear-jerker story that was sad, horrorific and completely unfair. Things like what happened to Susie and her family are heartbreaking, and very difficult to read and hear about. The overabundance of emotion that the story stirs up in the reader makes this a hard book to review, but the fact that the reaction is that powerful is an immense credit to the author’s writing ability.
This book is not just about Susie’s death, it is largely about the aftermath: both the grief of her family, and their ability to move on. Everyone handles the death differently, and it accurately mirrors real life. Each person feels their grief in a very personal way, and it affects the rest of their life, whether they are aware of it or not.
The view of heaven, or the in between, or wherever Susie is dwelling after her death, is quite unique. The personalization of the experience to each person that is based on what they need and can handle at that specific time is a concept that I have never heard before. It is imaginative and much more detailed and thought provoking than the standard ideas of afterlife.
Overall, this was a powerful book that seemed to have meaning behind each distinct piece. It is very emotional, and not an easy read, but definitely one that a reader will not forget quickly.