The Lovely Bones
2 journalers for this copy...
A fiction writer must always ask "What if...", but few risk following their imagination as far as Sebold. Compelling...mesmerizing... horrific... A haunting book that rattled around in my mind for days....
I did find the ending unsatisfactory tho--I'm not sure why-- It felt rushed, and just didn't quite jell.
I really like her conception of heaven~~it's one I could enjoy.
2nd copy --picked up at thrift store for wild release
Reading narratives written from the point of view of victimized 14-year old girls, or in magical realist style, is not normally my thing but in fact the whole story-told-by-a-dead-girl-in-heaven thing works well. The writing starts out crisply, sparely even, and though there are some weaknesses (does our author, so intrigued by all the off-beat intelligent characters at school, *really* want to have Vogue & Glamor as classroom text books in heaven?), they are not overwhelming ones and the first third is good. At that point, I started thinking, "Hmm, this feels like it's right for a novella". Unfortunately, the book slides gradually from then on. The further it goes, the more anodyne it gets, and by the end, there is closure for absolutely everything, however unfeasible psychologically.
Oddly, it got good reviews in the US (Michiko Kakutani really liked it). I can only put this down to a post-September 11 yearning for comfort and reassurance. It was panned in the UK, and, compared to serious literature, deserves to be. On the other hand, if you're not averse to the occasional sappy read, it could be good for the beach.