The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: A

From the back of the book:
In the first chapter of this haunting novel, 14-year-old Susie Salmon looks down from heaven and describes the horrifying events of her murder. As time goes on, Susie continues her curious observations while her family struggles to cope with the pain of her death. Her younger sister grows tougher and more mature, her mother goes to desperate lengths to ease the suffering, and her father begins a perilous quest to bring the killer to justice.

This book starts out absolutely stunningly. Susie’s murder and the aftermath progress evenly and fascinatingly for about a year after her death. After that time, however, events speed up and soon whole years are glossed over within a sentence. It became a real “Drop in on X and see where they are now. Okay, next character!” cycle. And it isn’t that these little snapshots weren’t interesting; it just really felt rushed.

Thankfully, this doesn’t last too very long before the story wraps up in a more linear fashion. The ending may be a bit too tidy for some, I suppose, but I loved it. The author manages to be thoughtful and evoke imagery without being pretentious or writing so densely as to require strong effort to decode for meaning.

The Lovely Bones is unique, a trifle flawed, but wholly unforgettable. I’ll remember this story for a long time.

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