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The Lovely Bones Book Report

3960 words - 16 pages

The lovely bones by Alice Sebold

INDEX

1. Author

2. Plot Write a news paper article

3. Characters – Write a letter from one of the main character

4. Themes: Find six keywords and explain their meaning

5. Language + Setting: Rewrite a chapter or section of the novel from another character’s point of view

Book report by Raina Monika

Name: Alice Sebold |
Date of Birth: 1963 |
Nationality: American |
Gender: Female |
Occupation: Writer |

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I went out a lot. I would go to a lot of readings. I did a lot of things that I'm not particularly proud of and that I can't believe I did," she recalled in a talk she gave at the University of California--Irvine (UCI) as recorded by Ehzra Cue on the UCI Web Site. At that talk, Sebold presented climbing to the top of the Manhattan Bridge as an example of something she can't believe she did; in other forums, she has also discussed the three years during which she used heroin while she was living in New York.

Lucky began to take shape in the late 1990s, when Sebold was studying fiction writing at a graduate program at UCI. A ten-page assignment sparked her to write forty pages about the rape. Although none of that writing was itself included in the final book, the experience was the impetus for Sebold to begin doing research and putting her memoir together. She read through old letters and journal entries, the transcripts of her rapist's trial, and even returned to Syracuse and talked to the former assistant district attorney who had helped to prosecute the man, allowing her, even fifteen years after the attack, to tell the story in great detail. The result is "a remarkable personal look at a crime all too common in our out-of-whack society," wrote Toronto Sun reviewer Yvonne Crittenden. Despite her dark subject matter, "Sebold's wit is as powerful as her searing candor," remarked a Publishers Weekly contributor.

The Lovely Bones
Sebold's second book, The Lovely Bones, is similarly dark in topic. Its narrator, fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon, is raped and killed by a neighbor at the beginning of the book. She narrates the story of her death--and of her family, her friends, and herself coming to terms with it--in the first person from her omniscient seat in heaven. This is "Sebold's most dazzling stroke," declared a Publishers Weekly reviewer, as it "provides the warmth of a first-person narration and the freedom of an omniscient one." That omniscience is necessary, since Susie's tale encompasses several different stories: Susie's mother's search to build a new life away from the family after the murder; her father's quest to find the real killer, into which Susie's teenage sister Lindsay is drawn and which puts her at great risk from the same killer; and Susie's vicarious living-out of her own teen and young adult years through Lindsay. "What might play as a sentimental melodrama in the hands of a lesser writer becomes in this volume a keenly observed portrait of familial love and how it endures and changes over time," Michiko Kakutani declared in the New York Times. Connie Ogle in the Houston Chronicle stated: "The Lovely Bones is a disturbing story, full of horror and confusion and deep, bone-weary sadness. And yet it reflects a moving, passionate interest in and love for ordinary life at its most wonderful, most awful, even at its most mundane." Writing in Christian Century, Stephen H. Webb admitted that The Lovely Bones has "the most...

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