Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Them Bones

During my hiatus without the computer I read two books. (Amazing how easy it is to read when you don’t have the added reading material of the internet—I cleared two books in 16 days, and with the book I am reading now I’m stopping every four feet again to look up something on the net.) Today’s and tomorrow’s entries will focus on those books in review.

I should also make a quick note here—it’s getting more and more difficult to keep my books sorted, what with their coming from everywhere and not really falling in a niche of how I came to read them or where I got them from. I hope I don’t confuse everyone as much as I have confused myself.


“The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold was a book that caused me to weep more than any book I have ever read. By the way, if you are saying goodbye to someone for any reason, then it’s not a good time to read this book.

But ANY time that you decide to read it, it’s a lovely book.

I was reminded in this reading of “Our Town,” only in a violent context. The protagonist is raped and then murdered at the beginning of the book, so we the readers get to hear a voice from the other side of the grave, the voice of Susie the victim, and, like Emily of “Our Town,” Susie contemplates how the characters back on the other side deal with life and death, as compared to her views. She also wants to rejoin them, much like the Emily of “Our Town”—where Emily picks a day, Susie picks an act, th revirgination of herself through her friend’s Ruth’s body.

This book is wonderfully written, with clean and simple language, although there were a couple of passages where I thought the vocabulary was a bit above a 14-year-old, considering that Susie’s sister Lindsey is the one who is considered to be gifted. Perhaps Sebold added that in there so we could see what Susie was capable of. The love of each exchange seemed objective, unabashed, without sentimentality but possessing just enough feeling to be powerful.

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