The Lovely Bones: Book Review
Commendable literature is a story; a story that in essence can captivate the mind, leave you yearning for more, has a cherished moral, and can be valued by future generations. The Lovely Bones’ readers, reading a heart-rending and intense story from the point view of someone who has already departed from earth, fully motivated me, as a reader, to retain an open-mind throughout the book. Comparable to most stories I have to read for academic purposes, I did not dread setting aside time to complete the work written by Alice Sebold.
The story began, familiarizing the setting and laying the groundwork for the book by introducing the plot and characters, and amplifying the dramatic tone for forthcoming happenings. The story is told from the point of view of a fourteen-year-old-girl whose name “was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie” ( Sebold 1). Susie was murdered by her neighbor, George Harvey. He plays an innocent widower and has the boldness to approach and express condolences for Susie to her mother and in response to this Susie says, “The man has no shame” (Sebold 8). He doesn’t care and shows no remorse for what he did. He in fact was so self-assured that he has gotten away with the crime he has committed; he had the “audacity” to apologize to Mrs. Salmon. Mr. Harvey is a character who unfortunately, seems to have many “mommy issues” and to the shock of many, Susie is not his first prey, but just one of numerous victims.
Susie’s father plays such an important role throughout the entire story and really shows the audience stages of grief. It begins with shock and denial. Mr. Salmon refused to believe Susie was dead, he was confident she would come home, which creates a handful of complications between him and the rest of his family that remains living. He is so consumed with the passing of his daughter; his own life that he continues to live begins to break down before him. Once he gets passed the point of accepting the fact she was murdered, he becomes engulfed with a crazed fixation with Mr. Harvey (father’s intuition) and seeks vengeance and retribution for the life of his beloved daughter. He further moves on to feel guilt, feeling he should have been there to rescue his daughter in a time of desperation: “The guilt on him, the hand of God pressing down on him saying, ‘You were not there when your daughter needed you,’” (Sebold 58). His emotions were the ones most distinguished as he went through the five stages of dealing with grief. There is a mental picture of him from the beginning of the book that definitively changes greatly— a transformation from a young, lively, strong, family-man to a lonesome, weak, grieving father who would rather live among the dead than the living.
While Mr. Salmon loses himself in Susie’s death, Susie’s mother has her own coping mechanisms. She is distant and pushes everyone away. She resents the...