The Lovely Bones
My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. In newspaper photos of missing girls from the seventies, most looked like me: white girls with mousy brown hair. This was before kids of all races and genders started appearing on milk cartons or in the daily mail. It was still back when people believed things like that didn’t happen. […] My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer.
Alice Sebold’s 2002-novel The Lovely Bones is told by murder victim Susie, speaking from her own private “heaven” from where she watches over her distraught family as well as the man who killed her. She sees her father and sister desperately trying to find out the truth about her disappearance, her family torn apart by their loss, and her friends growing up and moving on with their lives. She also follows the life of her killer.
The novel is engaging, intriguing and compelling. There are some slightly shocking scenes, but mainly this is a beautiful and bittersweet story which is very difficult to put down and even more difficult to forget.
In 2009, Peter Jackson released his film adaptation, and although it is not as perfect as the novel (how could it ever be?), it is well worth the watch.
So, that’s two recommendations for the price of one. Enjoy!