The Lovely Bones (Feb. Selection)

It’s March first so it’s time to discuss the February selection of the SDMB book club, The Lovely Bones

I really liked this novel a lot. My brother died when I was a kid and there was so much that was real about this book. I suppose it was also soothing in a way.

The one thing people keep asking me is: Is this book sad? I really don’t know how to answer them.

So is it sad?

Yes, it was sad.

It wasn’t difficult to read in the same way that a lot of books about the death of children are difficult to read. (After having children, I have discovered I have a much harder time reading books or watching movies where children are put in danger). Perhaps because the character doesn’t really “die” but “goes away to someplace where she can only watch her previous life.” She can watch her family, and she knows that – eventually – they will see her again - but they can’t know that (except Ruth - Ruth knows).

Susie is so detached - she seems rather unemotional as she watches her family. Heaven doesn’t seem like a happy place - but not a sad place either.

Yet despite being attached, she does seem to “help” the bastard that killed her get his in the end.

But it was sad in that she did loose the ability to live this life. I can, however, see that it would be a comforting book to someone who lost a child (or brother or sister).

I found it sad, but in an oddly comforting way.

Rats – that last post was me.

Anyway, I enjoyed the book’s perspective on and description of heaven. I’m not religious, nor do I believe in heaven, but if I did, I’d be comforted by the idea of a heaven such as the one in the book.

Nuts. I thought this would be about DeForest Kelley.

I also liked the different perspective on Heaven. I am religious (but not fanatically or fundamentally so), and found the description of just fascinating. I’ve never really thought Heaven would be people (or angels) floating around on clouds, wearing long white shimmery gowns, so this was a great take on how it could be.

My favorite part was when she saw her dog in Heaven. She says she saw the dog racing across the grass, a few moments before the dog saw her, and then the dog came running over to her. That part made me cry.

I loved this book. I’ve been recommending it to anyone who will listen.

I borrowed it from my roommate and found it to be a pretty good book, but What was up with the body possession sex scene near the end? I really felt that it kinda cheapened the book a bit and it left a bad taste in my mouth. Now when I think of the book, I think of that section and it bugs me.

Here’s my review, originally posted in the 50bookchallenge thread on livejournal:

A pretty good book, and a very quick read. It’s a first person narrative about a 14-year old girl named Susie Salmon who is raped and murdered by her neighbor. The rest of the tale is the girl in heaven witnessing her family’s reactions to her death, as well as the reactions of her murderer, her would-be lover and a classmate who becomes a post-mortem soulmate of sorts.

While some elements of the novel just didn’t work for me (most notably her mother’s actions and the supernatural “event” occurring towards the end), the narrative often seemed disinterested when it should have been more expressive, and the “heaven” described seems underdeveloped, Sebold manages to keep the reader moving along, watching with Susie all that goes on.

While I did enjoy the book and would recommend it, I am also a cheapskate and as such would recommend waiting until it comes out in paperback :wink:

There was one thing that bugged me about this book – there were two instances when the author used the word “regime” when what she meant was “regimen”. You’d think that wouldn’t make it past the editor. God that grates on me.

Anyway, the supernatural “event” as Banger put it – I could accept it within the whole story of Ruth’s connection to her, which was supernatural in itself.

I read this book about two months ago…I need to go read it again now. I really enjoyed it, although, personally, my idea of heaven would NOT be high school…sheesh.

I agree that Susie was pretty detached but I guess you’d learn to do that quickly if you’d experienced what she did.

The Lovely Bones was a fast, easy read. While I did enjoy the book, I wouldn’t count it among my favorites.

I have the same issues with it that everyone else previously stated; her mother’s actions in particular. Not to say that it is unrealistic but I didn’t like that element of the book.

Does the book specify how her elbow was found? I remember the dog finding it, but I’m wondering how Mr. Harvey left it behind. Was that intentional? Since the rest of her body ended up in the sinkhole, I wondered about that.

I enjoyed her version of heaven - I’m kind of on the fence about the afterlife so this description worked nicely for me.

I did like the way Mr. Harvey finally met his end; I smiled when I remembered the Perfect Murder competition.

One last question… Why did Mr. Harvey end up building the bridal tent? He didn’t kill anyone else in that neighborhood. Was that just so he would have a chance to talk to Susie’s dad? This seemed a little unnecessary to me.

I liked the Mother character. I didn’t really like her as a person, but I liked that the author showed how the death of a child can rip apart even the most stable of marriages.

Slainte, I believe it was left behind unintentionally. Just a piece that wasn’t put away with the rest.

My impression is that Mr Harvey didn’t kill anyone else because of the constant harassment by Susie’s dad. I thought the Bridal tent was intended to be used, but couldn’t.

The supernatural aspect really didn’t bother me too much at all. Susie already had a supernatural relationship with Ruth.

Good point in the spoiler, light strand. That makes sense.

At some point I’d like to re-read the book in case I missed some of the finer details.

Just finished this, so thought I’d bump the thread for other latecomers. Not much to add, but…

I was also bothered by the part at the end with Ray and Ruth/Susie – it seemed totally out of synch with the rest of the book.

Mr. Harvey’s death was excellent.

I liked the way Sebold developed Lindsey’s character, and kept looping back to her relationship with Susie, before and after Susie’s death.

And the part at the end when Mr. Harvey comes back looking for Lindsey is just creepy.

Overall, I liked it – very quick read, which I hadn’t expected, for some reason. Very sad – I found myself tearing up several times, which isn’t like me. (I had a tough week, though, so was pretty stressed out.)