Belching Words

The Lovely Bones – A Review

Posted in books., interests. by Lex on April 15, 2010

This book spoke to me. It narrated a story so brutal, yet so enchanting.

Susie Salmon was raped and murdered at a very young age. She arrives in heaven in possession with everything she wished and dreamed. But nothing is perfect. Does that include heaven? She thinks so. Her family is not in heaven. She can witness everything from up above – her real killer, Mr. Harvey acting without any guilt, without any trace. But nothing hurts more than seeing her family grieve and break apart – how her mother chose adultery as a way to forget her, how her little brother slowly turned his heart to stone, how her sister tries to be strong, and how her father tries to cope with the devastating truth, turning the lights on just in case she comes back.

She meets the other girls Mr Harvey killed.  She watches souls from every corner of the world leaving their bodies. Up there, you watch people love, cry, and die.

Heaven to me was a place with no sorrow, no pain and no hunger. It’s where you find what you didn’t get and what you lost back in Earth. It’s where you go back to your Creator. It’s where you watch over your loved ones.

It never came to my mind that heaven would be imperfect. I can feel the frustration of Susie as she just watch and sit doing nothing, how she would very much like to point out where exactly she was killed. What strucks  me the most is when you see your loved one about to die. Should you be happy for your gain or for the loss of those left in Earth? How would I feel if placed in such a situation?

In Heaven, you also wait, just like in Earth. You wish, you pray, and then it’s answered. You wish, you pray, that someday, your family would live painlessly and perfectly happy in heaven. Things happen. The winds take its course. It’s like what Mom said, just continue tugging God’s sleeve, endlessly praying until he gives in and answers your prayers – just like any parent.

The Lovely Bones is a very beautiful story that I loved and doted till the last page. Susie’s murder wasn’t that much interesting to me. What entranced me more is the idea, the concept of Sebold’s Heaven. Sebold writes beautifully, piercing words like a stab of a knife – sharp and painful. The book took long, it dragged, but I was gripped by her writing more than the story that I didn’t care much how odd the ending is. The feelings that death brought to the Salmon family was something I cannot overlook. There was so much supressed pain. So much bravado in Lindsay, Susie’s sister. Yet, so much weakness in her mother.

The story starts with hate and anguish but ends with love. It reminded me of a certain line from Harry Potter after the death of Dumbledore:

Dumbledore would have been happier than anybody to think that there was a little more love in the world.

This I will never forget.

Rating: 4 out of 5!

At the end of the book, there was a sneak peek of chapter one of another book from Alice Sebold, The Almost Moon. It was about a daughter who killed her mother who had Dementia. She prepared her mother, washed her and tried to make her look pleasing and then suffocated the old lady. I know it sounds brutal and brutal just seems to be the right word for Sebold’s novel, but I would like to read it. Just sharing, in the hopes that you’d read with me.

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4 Responses

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  1. shoreacres said, on April 18, 2010 at 3:36 am

    What a wonderful review! You’ve made me want to read the book – it really is quite a thought, that heaven is imperfect. I never have heard anyone suggest that, and it’s the perfect jumping off place for a ripping good story!

    • Lex said, on April 18, 2010 at 4:26 am

      Please do! The book really puts you into so much deep thinking.

  2. bermudaonion said, on April 16, 2010 at 10:55 am

    I really enjoyed this book, too – now you need to see the movie.

    • Lex said, on April 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm

      I am planning to! I just need to find time.


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