‘The Lovely Bones’ by Alice Sebold

The Inbetween… I only thought of clouds with dead people on them before I began to read ‘The Lovely Bones’. I really had high expectations because there is also a movie based on this book and, for me, this was an whole different subject for a change. But unfortunately, I think this wasn’t a very good book… I usually love to read but this book was a burden to finish.

The story is about a girl, Susie Salmon, who has been murdered brutally on December 6, 1973. The first 10 pages or so, the murder has been told full of details that gives you goosebumps all over your body. So at first, the story really interested me, because of the special start. Also the way the book is written is very special, because Susie is the one who tells her story. Because she can see everybody on Earth from the Inbetween, she tells also the stories of her family and friends. At first I found this a bit strange, but you’ll get used to it the longer you read the book.
Also a good thing was that you get a sneak peak from the Inbetween. I think it was really hard for Alice Sebold to write that, because nobody has a clue how heaven looks/feels like. Alice did a really good job in describing it and make it feel real and possible.
What I found disturbing was how the mother of Susie was handling her death. She distances her from her family, begins an affaire with the Detective who investigate the murder of Susie, leaves her grieving husband and her two other children and flee to the other side of the country.
Also after 100 pages, the story stays pretty much the same and it begins to bore you… I had hoped for an unexpected twist but unfortunately this didn’t happen. The only ‘special’ thing is that Susie returns to Earth one more time to make love to Ray, her old lover, but this was so unreal for me that this didn’t catch my interest any more…
Also it was a pity that Mr. Harvey, the murderer of Susie, walks freely. It irritated me that Mr. Harvey plays the ‘Friendly Neighbor’ but in reality he’s the monster who murdered multiple innocent girls.

Maybe it was also that I read the book in English, because there were a lot of words and expressions that I didn’t know. So maybe when I see the movie or read the book in Dutch, I would like it a bit more. For me, the idea of a murdered girl who tells her story from the Inbetween was really strong, but the execution was lame. The story was after a few pages boring, predictable and unreal.

Here you can find a review of the book from Sarah (a bit at the bottom of the page). I think she exaggerates a bit, but I really agree with her about the plot, because I almost literally thought the same thing.

So, for me, this book was really a waist of time to read… I surely don’t recommend anyone to read this and I hope that someday someone rewrite the book because the idea was good… So to end this review with a quote from ‘The Lovely Bones’:

‘I wish you all a long and happy life.’



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