Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold

I picked The Lovely Bones off a different list (the BBC 100 Books meme) as it caught my eye, so it's not a 1001 book after all.  Ironic given my goal for this year.  I read the Kindle edition of the book on my iPad.

The Lovely Bones is a confronting book.  I'm a happy horror and supernatural reader, and don't have a weak stomach in the face of gore.  It's books like this one that give me a freak out.  I am almost 100% certain this is due to having a daughter of my own.  More than before, the everyday tragedies of our actual, "real," world leave me on the verge of tears, feeling anxious and concerned for her future, and wanting to start Googling for martial arts classes that will take 2 year olds and turn them into lethal killing machines. 

There is something truly visceral and horrible about the prosaic evil of a man who would rape and kill a 14 year old girl.  Far more than any fictional monsters, who I can quite happily read about and watch til the metaphorical cows come home.  Real life, skillfully drawn "monsters" are far more horrifying.

So yes, this novel hit where it was aiming, for this mother of a young girl.

I..."enjoyed" seems the wrong word...the slow unwinding of her family, I would have like to hear more from the mother, the father's grief and response was sensitively drawn, but I suppose as a mother I wanted more from that role in the novel than simple (or not so simple) abandonment.

The resolution of the book, what there was of it, was satisfying, and the slow reweaving of lives after such a tragedy, over so many years, had a real feel to it that I appreciated.



Kristi said...

I've been hesitant to read this one because of the subject matter. I have a three year old daughter, so I can relate to how it made you feel. I'm glad that you found it worthwhile. I happened to see it at charity shop a couple of weeks ago and picked it up. I hope I'll get to it sometime this year.

Selene said...

It's definitely worth a read!