Cover image for The lovely bones : a novel
Title:
The lovely bones : a novel
Author:
Sebold, Alice.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First Back Bay trade paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Back Bay Books, 2004.

©2002
Physical Description:
328 pages, 13 pages ; 21 cm
Summary:
This is the tale of family, memory, love, and living told by 14-year-old Susie Salmon, who is already in heaven. Through the voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and builds out of her family's grief a hopeful and joyful story.
General Note:
Originally published: Boston : Little, Brown, c2002. With new reading group guide.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
890 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.0 16.0 66874.

Reading Counts RC High School 7.1 21 Quiz: 31673 Guided reading level: NR.
ISBN:
9780316168816

9780316044936
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Once in a generation a novel comes along that taps a vein of universal human experience, resonating with readers of all ages. THE LOVELY BONES is such a book -- a #1 bestseller celebrated at once for its artistry, for its luminous clarity of emotion, and for its astonishing power to lay claim to the hearts of millions of readers around the world.
"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."
So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her -- her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling. Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, THE LOVELY BONES succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy.


Author Notes

Alice Sebold was born in Madison, Wisconsin on September 6, 1963. She attended college at Syracuse University. She was raped as a freshman. Her first book, Lucky, is a memoir which tells the story of that event in her life and its aftermath. Following graduation from Syracuse, she went to the University of Houston for her graduate degree and received an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. Her other books include The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon. She won the American Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction in 2003 for The Lovely Bones and the Bram Stoker Award for First Novel in 2002. In 2009 a feature film was released of The Lovely Bones starring Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Few novels, debut or otherwise, are as masterful or as compelling as Sebold's. Her heroine, 14-year-old Suzy Salmon, is murdered in the first chapter, on her way home from school. Suzy narrates the story from heaven, viewing the devastating effects of her murder on her family. Each member reacts differently: her gentle father grieves quietly, intent on finding her killer; her aloof mother retreats from the family; her tough younger sister, Lindsey, keeps everything inside, except for the occasional moment when she tentatively opens up to her boyfriend; and her four-year-old brother, Bucky, longs for his older sister and can't comprehend her absence. Suzy also watches Ray Singh, the boy who kissed her for the first time, who represents all of her lost hopes, and Ruth Connors, who became obsessed with death and murder after Suzy's passing. Under Suzy's watchful eye, the members of her family individually grow away from her murder, each shaped by it in their own way. In heaven, Suzy herself continues to grapple with her death as well, still longing for her family and for Earth, until she is finally granted a wish that allows her to fulfill one of her dreams. Sebold's beautiful novel shows how a tragedy can tear a family apart, and bring them back together again. She challenges us to re-imagine happy endings, as she brings the novel to a conclusion that is unfalteringly magnificent. And she paints, with an artist's precision, a portrait of a world where the terrible and the miraculous can and do co-exist. --Kristine Huntley


Publisher's Weekly Review

Reading her breakout novel, Sebold?s even, unemotional voice is a good match for both the drab setting of a Midwest town enduring the 1970s and for her matter-of-fact writing, which manages to seem grounded even as the protagonist narrates from heaven after her brutal murder. Sebold doesn?t bother with voicing characters differently; the murdered girl, Susie Salmon, is the listener?s window into the world she was forced to leave behind, and Sebold uses a flat, deliberate voice that manages to sound both weary and wistful. Snatches of melancholy chamber music close each track and provide more explicit emotion. What Sebold?s voice lacks in stylistic flourish she makes up for with perfect pacing. In an introductory segment, Sebold recounts the novel?s genesis and mentions that part of her working process involves reading everything back to herself, which explains her expert rhythm. On the final disc, Sebold reads the first chapter of her 2007 novel, The Almost Moon. While Sebold?s fans will be eager for the chance to hear her read, the uninitiated may wish for a bit more passion in her presentation. A Back Bay Books paperback (Reviews, June 17, 2002). (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.


Library Journal Review

The heroine of Sebold's first novel (after the memoir Lucky) is already dead, but that doesn't keep her from talking. Teenager Susie Salmon looks down benevolently from Heaven as her family heals and her murderer is run to ground. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-"I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973," says Susie Salmon in this intriguing novel. Teens will immediately be drawn into this account of a girl who was raped and killed, and tells her story from "heaven." She realizes gradually that she is in an interim heaven until she can let go of her earthly concerns. The place is like school with Seventeen for a textbook and no teachers. On Earth, her mother needs to leave the family for a time, her sister seems to have Susie constantly in her thoughts, her young brother grows into a pensive preteen, and her grief-stricken father spends much of his time seeking out the murderer, even after it seems that the police have given up. The narrator observes the disparate ways her family and friends cope, and finally sees that they are resolving their grief as "the lovely bones" of their lives knit themselves around the empty space that was her life. While the subject matter is grim, the telling is light and frequently humorous-Susie remains 14 even though 8 years pass in the other characters' lives. This novel will encourage discussion. There is a slight feeling of magical realism, but there is grounding in real adolescence.-Susan H. Woodcock, Fairfax County Public Library, Chantilly, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.