When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn’t happen. In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief, her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor and begins the difficult process of healing. In the hands of a brilliant novelist, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful and touching story about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.
The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold, is the first book I’ve read since the middle of summer, save for the Twilight series. It was such a compelling story, told from the dead girl’s point of view after she was murdered. It tells of how she was killed, and when in heaven she watches over her family and sees them living out their lives without her. Sometimes heartbreaking, a book that is visual and interesting to read. I highly recommend it!