So, first off I bring you my review of 'The Lovely Bones', by Alice Sebold. This has been on my TBR list forever, as I have always been very intrigued by the premise: a girl being murdered and then watching what happens to her family once she is gone? Who wouldn't want to see how people reacted to their death?
So, my A-Z challenge gave me the perfect excuse to buy this book and read it as my 'S'. In my time working in Waterstones I have seen many beautiful covers for this, but this is by far my favourite, and I was so happy that it was sitting in Picadilly for me the day I wanted to buy it!
So, for me, the book started off really well. You are immediately introduced to the fact that Susie was murdered, and how that comes about. She then takes you back a few months, to give you a feeling for her personal connection to all those she then decides to watch from heaven. It gave me everything I wanted in the first 100 pages, particularly a really thought-provoking description of heaven and how it is possible to make it everything you want to be. That's a comfort, it's heart-warming and it's just lovely.
As the police seemed to get farther and farther from solving the mystery of her crime, her family (father in particular) became more and more determined to solve it themselves. For some reason though, their frantic search for her killer wasn't nearly as saturated with emotion as it should have been. For this story to have gripped and moved me, I needed to feel a lot more strongly connected to the characters, and needed to feel close to crying along with them. In the absence of that, I actually felt that the storyline seemed pretty flat. I wasn't engaged with it, and at times became quite bored, which I am ashamed to say!
I read the foreword after finishing it, where the writer says she first read this book in her 20s and didn't really get the deep meaning in it. She then read it again 10-15 years later and suddenly it was so much more emotive and thought-provoking. Maybe that's my issue? Maybe I should return to this in 10 years and see whether my opinion changes?
For now I just think that a lot more could have been made of such an intriguing and unique storyline! Also, the ending for me was just plain bizarre! I know the whole thing is not 'normal; or plausible, but that bit was just strange!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one! I am sure there are many people reading this who can't believe I have anything bad to say about this book, so please make yourself known in the comments below! I'd love to talk about it :)