Review: The Emotional The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Review: The Emotional The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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In a world filled with countless books, only a few have the power to leave an indelible mark on our hearts and minds. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is undeniably one of those rare gems. In this review, we’ll dive into the intricacies of this literary masterpiece, exploring its plot, characters, and the profound impact it has had on its readers.

Table of Contents

Plot Summary: A Tale of Life and Afterlife

The Lovely Bones is a gripping novel that explores the life and afterlife of Susie Salmon, a 14-year-old girl who is brutally murdered. The story is narrated by Susie herself from her perspective in the afterlife, offering a unique and haunting viewpoint.

As Susie watches over her grieving family and friends, she reflects on her own life and death, coming to terms with the tragedy.

The novel delves into the emotional journeys of Susie’s family members, particularly her parents, who struggle with their loss in different ways. Her younger sister, Lindsey, becomes determined to uncover the truth behind Susie’s murder. Meanwhile, Susie herself grapples with the injustice of her death and longs for closure.

The Lovely Bones is a blend of family drama, mystery, and supernatural elements. As the story unfolds, readers are drawn into a web of emotions and suspense, making it a compelling and thought-provoking read.

The Lovely Bones Cover

Intriguing Characters

Central to the book are its memorable characters. Susie Salmon, our young protagonist, is a voice from beyond the grave, guiding us through her journey of coming to terms with her own death and observing the lives of her family and friends.

Her family, each dealing with their grief in unique ways, adds depth and authenticity to the narrative. From her grieving parents to her determined younger sister, the characters in The Lovely Bones are vividly portrayed and easy to connect with.

Main Themes Explored Throughout The Novel

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold explores several main themes throughout the novel:

  • Grief and Loss: The novel delves deeply into the various ways people cope with grief and loss. It portrays how the Salmon family members each deal with Susie’s death differently, from denial to anger, acceptance, and even obsession. The story underscores the profound impact of loss on individuals and their relationships.
  • Coming of Age: Through Susie’s narrative, the novel captures the essence of coming of age, both for Susie herself and for her sister Lindsey. It highlights the challenges and transformations that occur as young characters navigate the complexities of adolescence and adulthood.
  • Family Dynamics: The dynamics within the Salmon family are central to the story. It examines how tragedy can both strain and strengthen familial bonds. Each family member copes with Susie’s death in their own way, and their journeys are intricately woven into the narrative.
  • Justice and Redemption: A significant theme in the novel is the quest for justice and redemption. As Susie observes from the afterlife, her family and friends are determined to find her killer and bring them to justice. This theme raises questions about morality and the lengths people will go to seek closure and retribution.
  • Life and Afterlife: The novel blurs the boundaries between life and the afterlife. Susie’s unique perspective as a narrator from beyond the grave adds an element of the supernatural. It explores the idea of what happens to the soul after death and the notion of unfinished business in the living world.
  • Love and Healing: Amidst the tragedy and loss, The Lovely Bones also portrays the power of love and healing. Characters find solace and strength in their connections with one another, and the novel ultimately suggests that love has the capacity to help individuals overcome even the most devastating of circumstances.
  • Fate and Choice: The novel raises questions about fate and choice. It explores whether events in life are predetermined or if individuals have the agency to shape their destinies. Susie’s murder, in particular, prompts reflection on the randomness of tragic events.

These themes intertwine to create a rich and emotionally charged narrative, making The Lovely Bones a thought-provoking exploration of the human experience in the face of tragedy and loss.

Emotional Resonance

One of the most remarkable aspects of The Lovely Bones is its emotional resonance. Sebold’s ability to delve into the human psyche and convey the raw emotions of her characters is nothing short of extraordinary. You’ll find yourself empathizing with the Salmon family’s pain, sharing in their moments of joy, and, above all, rooting for justice to be served.


In conclusion, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is a literary masterpiece that combines an innovative narrative perspective, well-crafted characters, and an emotionally charged plot. This book is not just a story; it’s an experience that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.

If you’re looking for a novel that will tug at your heartstrings, challenge your perceptions of life and death, and leave you in awe of the power of storytelling, The Lovely Bones is a must-read.


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