What if there was something like the “In-Between” which is neither heaven nor earth? You could still communicate with someone on earth and be with your loved ones who have already passed away. Actually, I hope it exists because although you’re deceased, you’re still present in some way. Unfortunately, no one will ever know if there is something like that “In-Between”. Some may say they are paranormal gifted, but there is no evidence. They are the only ones who will know and for us it just comes down to trust. I’m so curious about how such a heaven will look. Does it have a lot of clouds, peace, birds and angels? Or are the ones who stay there just floating in the sky? One who is capable of describing the “In-Between” -and the life there- at best is Alice Sebold. Her book, The lovely bones, tells the story of a 14-year old deceased girl, Susie Salmon, who lives in the “In-Between”.
“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered.”
Susie Salmon looks down at the earth where her family processes their grief. Her father becomes obsessed with Susie’s death. He can’t stop doing research on who murdered Susie and therefore his wife –Susie’s mom- leaves him. After she has left him, she has an affair with the detective who is investigating Susie’s death. Susie had also a younger sister: Lindsey. When people look at Lindsey they think of Susie. Lindsey doesn’t really like this and because of that she grows up really fast. She starts dating Samuel who is crazy about Lindsey. Susie had a little brother too, Buckley. Susie’s father loves his children, but he can never forget about Susie. This bothers mainly Buckley, because he’s the youngest and needs his dad the most. He feels he’s always in second place. Nevertheless, the relation between him and his father is very good.
Then there is also Ruth. Ruth didn’t know Susie very well, but on the night when Susie was killed and her spirit went up to heaven, Susie’s spirit touched Ruth in the parking lot and Ruth felt this. Eight years later it turns out that Ruth has a paranormal gift, with which she wants to do something special for Susie.
The book tells Susie’s story from her Heaven. While reading Sebold made me believe in heaven and in the “In-Between”. It made me believe that if you have learnt to let go of your beloved ones on earth, you’re ready to go to the ‘real’ heaven. I still don’t know if it exists, heaven and an “In-Between”, but I truly hope it does. It would be a beautiful way to try to accept your death. You’re not on earth anymore, but you aren’t really gone either.
Sebold has shown her capacity of describing how relationships can be damaged when you aren’t interested in each other anymore and how everyone processes their own grief.
“The mark of a great book is when the plot is still in your head long after you’ve finished reading. It’s been a year since I first read Alice Sebold’s debut novel and bestseller “The Lovely Bones,” but it was so powerful that I still sometimes think about what I read.” Lyssa Beyer said in a review in The Spectator.
I fully share her opinion. The fact that I debate with myself about if there must be a heaven and why it should be there, says enough. The book has made an impression which won´t forget. And everytime someone nearby passes away, I will remember Sebolds “In-Between”.