The Lovely Bones


The Lovely Bones Books special features | comparisons

Mass Market Paperback, 328 pages

Published : September 1st 2006 by Little, Brown and Company (first published July 3rd 2002)

Original Title: The Lovely Bones

ISBN:  0316166685 (ISBN13: 9780316166683)

Edition Language: English

Characters: Susie Salmon, Clarissa, Holly, Jack Salmon, Abigail Salmon…more

Setting: United States of America, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (United States) , Pennsylvania (United States)


Literary Awards: Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel (2002), Orange Prize Nominee for Fiction Longlist (2003), British Book Award for Best Read of the Year (2004), Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction (2003), California Book Award for First Fiction (Silver) (2002)

South Carolina Book Award for Young Adult Book Award (2005), Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction (2002), Iowa High School Book Award (2005), Puddly Award for Fiction (2003), Lincoln Award Nominee (2005), Missouri Gateway Readers Award (2005)

The Lovely Bones is the story of a family devastated by a gruesome murder — a murder recounted by the teenage victim. Upsetting, you say? Remarkably, first-time novelist Alice Sebold takes this difficult material and delivers a compelling and accomplished exploration of a fractured family’s need for peace and closure.

The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confronted by the murderer one December afternoon on her way home from school. Lured into an underground hiding place, she was raped and killed. But what the reader knows, her family does not. Anxiously, we keep vigil with Susie, aching for her grieving family, desperate for the killer to be found and punished.

Sebold creates a heaven that’s calm and comforting, a place whose residents can have whatever they enjoyed when they were alive — and then some. But Susie isn’t ready to release her hold on life just yet, and she intensely watches her family and friends as they struggle to cope with a reality in which she is no longer a part. To her great credit, Sebold has shaped one of the most loving and sympathetic fathers in contemporary literature.

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