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The Lovely Bones

by Alice Sebold
read by author


Susie was fourteen years old when she died. She’d been on her way home from school when a neighbor, George Harvey, stopped her to show her something. He wanted her to see the hole in the ground he’d dug. It looked like a shelter built underground so that the person hiding within would be protected. But that didn’t happen to Susie. Instead, George Harvey raped and murdered her. The only thing he left was one of her elbows, which had been severed from the body when he cut it up. He buried her in a sinkhole some ways away from the town, somewhere she’d never be found.

Susie had been living with her parents as well as her younger sister, Lindsay, and her little brother, Buckley. Susie’s disappearance almost tore the family apart. Her father sank into severe depression, grieving for daddy’s little girl. He even seemed to neglect the other two children. And Lindsay, who looked like Susie, was a constant reminder to her mother of the child she’d lost. Only Buckley seemed not to be affected. Of course, he saw Susie around the house. She’d been gone for a while, but she’d come back.

The Lovely Bones is a story written from the point of view of Susie. Her description of her heaven, at least the temporary one until as she got to go to the real heaven, was quite different from what I’d expected. This one wasn’t perfect, and she could watch her family and interact with them if they saw her. Not all of them would admit they saw her.

The story is well written and is a perfect example of what grief can do to a family. It’s also a lesson to young girls to watch where they go. Pick up The Lovely Bones and listen to a familiar story told in an entirely different way. It’ll keep you awake.

The Book

Hachette Audio
August 1, 2009 (orig pub in 2002)
Audio book / CD / Approx runtime: 10.5 hours
16002480682 / 978-16002480683
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NOTE: Contains sex, violence, profanity

The Reviewer

Jo Rogers
Reviewed 2009
© 2009