My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer. This is Susie Salmon. Watching from heaven, Susie sees her happy, suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they each try to cope with their terrible loss alone. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet ...The Lovely Bones is a luminous and astonishing novel about life and death, forgiveness and vengeance, memory and forgetting - but, above all, about finding light in the darkest of places. 'Spare, beautiful and brutal prose ...The Lovely Bones is compulsive enough to read in a single sitting, brilliantly intelligent, elegantly constructed and ultimately intriguing' The Times 'Moving and compelling ...It will put an imperceptible but stealthily insistent hold on you. I sat down in the morning to read the first couple of pages; five hours later, I was still there, book in hand, transfixed' Maggie O'Farrell, Sunday Telegraph
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On her way home from school on a snowy December day in 1973, 14-year-old Susie Salmon ("like the fish") is lured into a makeshift underground den in a cornfield and brutally raped and murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer--the man she knew as her neighbor, Mr. Harvey.
Alice Sebold's haunting and heartbreaking debut novel, The Lovely Bones, unfolds from heaven, where "life is a perpetual yesterday" and where Susie narrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well as her brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case. As Sebold fashions it, everyone has his or her own version of heaven. Susie's resembles the athletic fields and landscape of a suburban high school: a heaven of her "simplest dreams," where "there were no teachers.... We never had to go inside except for art class.... The boys did not pinch our backsides or tell us we smelled; our textbooks were Seventeen and Glamour and Vogue."
The Lovely Bones works as an odd yet affecting coming-of-age story. Susie struggles to accept her death while still clinging to the lost world of the living, following her family's dramas over the years like an episode of My So-Called Afterlife. Her family disintegrates in their grief: her father becomes determined to find her killer, her mother withdraws, her little brother Buckley attempts to make sense of the new hole in his family, and her younger sister Lindsey moves through the milestone events of her teenage and young adult years with Susie riding spiritual shotgun. Random acts and missed opportunities run throughout the book--Susie recalls her sole kiss with a boy on Earth as "like an accident--a beautiful gasoline rainbow." Though sentimental at times, The Lovely Bones is a moving exploration of loss and mourning that ultimately puts its faith in the living and that is made even more powerful by a cast of convincing characters. Sebold orchestrates a big finish, and though things tend to wrap up a little too well for everyone in the end, one can only imagine (or hope) that heaven is indeed a place filled with such happy endings. --Brad Thomas Parsons
Look Inside the Motion Picture The Lovely Bones (Paramount, 2010)
(Click on each image below to see a larger view)
Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon
Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon
Mark Wahlberg as Jack Salmon
Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon and Director Peter Jackson
Alice Sebold is the author of the memoir Lucky. This is her first novel. She lives with the writer Glen David Gold in Southern California.
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Book Description Little Brown, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition; Tenth Printing. Book and DJ are New, first edition, 10th Printing, Laurie 3, ; 9.13 X 6.57 X 1.11 inches; 328 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 27886
Book Description Little Brown, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition; Fourteenth Printing. Book and DJ are New, first edition, 14th printing, Laurie 25, ; 9.13 X 6.57 X 1.11 inches; 328 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 28342
Book Description Little, Brown and Company, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition; Fifteenth Printing. Book and DJ are New, first edition so stated, 15th printing, Collectors Quality, Laurie 27, ; 9.13 X 6.57 X 1.11 inches; 328 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 29211
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Book Description Little, Brown and Company, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition; First Printing. B rand new mylar covered; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 328 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 42301
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