The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confronted by the murderer one December afternoon on her way home from school. Lured into an underground hiding place, she was raped and killed. But what the reader knows, her family does not. Anxiously, we keep vigil with Susie, aching for her grieving family, desperate for the killer to be found and punished.
Sebold creates a heaven that’s calm and comforting, a place whose residents can have whatever they enjoyed when they were alive — and then some. But Susie isn’t ready to release her hold on life just yet, and she intensely watches her family and friends as they struggle to cope with a reality in which she is no longer a part. To her great credit, Sebold has shaped one of the most loving and sympathetic fathers in contemporary literature.
Honestly, I was pretty happy with most of the book, I liked the whole concept of how her heaven was and that she got to watch down on her family and seeing how they (didn’t) cope with her murder. I thought it was a very interesting idea.
Unfortunately the ending left a sour taste in my mouth, which explains the rating. As many of you know Alice Sebold is a rape victim, and actually managed to get justice for her attacker, which you know good for her! I bring this up because Susie (the main character of The Lovely Bones) was raped before her murder and at the end of the book she comes down from heaven, enters Ruth’s body and has sex, more than once, with the boy that Susie was crushing on before her murder.
To me, that is just one bit what the f*ck moment. Ruth doesn’t consent to this – and has no sexual attraction to him nor his gender. What if she got pregnant? Oh hey mum I technically haven’t had sex but I’ve got a kid on the way… How must Ruth feel having her body violated like that? I ugh I just felt so frustrated with this book and actually through it across the room after finishing it.
Please note I read this book in 2011, and wrote a sentence or two review of it on Goodreads, whilst looking back through my reviews of 2011 I decided to improve on this particular review because I still felt very strongly about the ending.