The Lovely Bones : Alice Sebold

Almost everybody on my book forum was raving about this, so I had to read it to know what all the hype was about. It often happens that a hyped book fails to impress me and this is so true about this book.

The Lovely Bones is about Susie Salmon, who is raped and murdered by her neighbor. She goes to heaven and looks at Earth and narrates the story about her murder and her family's plight after her death. The cops are unable to locate her body, but even though Susie knows where it is, she doesn't have the power to reveal its location to those on Earth. The book traces the lives of Susie's family, her friends and her murderer for a few years post Susie's death.

I loved the character of Susie's father but her mother irritated me. I feel her actions were not justified. Another character, Ruana Singh, Susie's friend's mother is mysteriously interesting - was it intentional or the author just left out certain parts about this character? Susie's grandmom is another person who stays with you for sometime.

The book grabs you from the first page. The initial few pages are disturbing, that is where Susie describes her rape and murder. It is more so disturbing because the tone of the narrator is very plain, emotionless. The pace dips a bit somewhere in the middle of the book and I lost interest there. I could see what was coming and that bored me.

What I liked most about this book is the author's take on the heaven. She uses her imagination to create what heaven could be like and after you read her version, you feel that is exactly how heaven should be. I liked the storyline, but felt the author could have done better than this. Many people will disagree, so be it.

It is not a must-read, but it is a nice book if you don't have anything compelling to read.

PS: The book is going to made into a movie. It will be interesting to see how heaven is picturized!