The Lovely Bones

Sebold, Alice

Book - 2002
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Lovely Bones
This deluxe trade paperback edition of Alice Sebold's modern classic features French flaps and rough-cut pages. Once in a generation a novel comes along that taps a vein of universal human experience, resonating with readers of all ages.The Lovely Bonesis such a book - a phenomenal #1 bestseller celebrated at once for its narrative artistry, its luminous clarity of emotion, and its astoniishing power to lay claim to the hearts of millions of readers around the world. "My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."      So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on eath continue without her - her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling.      Out of unspeakable traged and loss,The Lovely Bonessucceeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy "A stunning achievement." -The New Yorker "Deeply affecting. . . . A keenly observed portrait of familial love and how it endures and changes over time." -New York Times "A triumphant novel. . . . It's a knockout." -Time "Destined to become a classic in the vein ofTo Kill a Mockingbird.. . . I loved it." -Anna Quindlen "A novel that is painfully fine and accomplished." -Los Angeles Times "The Lovely Bonesseems to be saying there are more important things in life on earth than retribution. Like forgiveness, like love." -Chicago Tribune 

Publisher: Boston : Little, Brown, 2002.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 0759570477
Characteristics: 328 p. ;,22 cm.
Alternate Title: Lovely bones (ebook)


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Dec 24, 2014
  • karen9 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This book was alright, I felt it wasn't exactly the book I anticipated it would be. I dislike the certain times of how things were, how the mother cheated on the father was one of the parts I really disliked, and sometimes wished that I hadn't read those parts. Aside from that the book is a decent story, and heart breaking.

Aug 04, 2014

Susie Salmon had a fairly good life. She was pretty, had supportive parents, two wonderful siblings, a boy who thought she was beautiful, and she excelled in most subjects at school. But from the first sentence of this book we learn that none of those things mattered anymore. Yes, her last name was Salmon, like the fish. Yes, her first name was Susie. But she was also fourteen years old, and she would be fourteen years old for a very long time. Because Susie Salmon was fourteen years old when she was murdered, on December 6th, 1973. Susie begins with the gruesome details of her murder. Early on, we learn that she was murdered by Mr. Harvey, a man who lived in her neighbourhood. Susie enters heaven, where she is able to watch over her family and the life she was pulled from. She sees her family struggle to move on and watches as her murderer remains in his home. Mr. Harvey begins to seem very suspicious to Susie’s father, and so begins his quest to find his daughter’s murderer.
Alice Sebold writes The Lovely Bones with a wisdom that could only be expressed through the eyes of Susie. The title refers to something Susie says while recalling her family’s newfound strength. “These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections—sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent—that happened after I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it.” This novel shows that out of great tragedy can come hope and love. Susie Salmon is a character who leaves an impact on people with her chilling parting words of, “I wish you all a long and happy life.”

Jul 28, 2014
  • debrahutton rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This was the first of Sebold's books that I read. After finishing reading Lucky again I couldn't resist reading The Lovely Bones again. I found it to be as thought provoking as when I read it 10 years ago. Sebold captures the reader from the first paragraph and doesn't let go! I think the thing that I love the most about this book is that everyone who reads it seems to get something else out of it.

Jul 11, 2014
  • sfogs rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Not what I expected...Very good. You really follow with Susie, like you are in the same shoes. You feel the same sense (which as a reader you always feel) of frustration with characters as you can see what is about to happen and you can't do a thing about it. You can't reach into a book and shake sense into them. But you can watch and play witness, as Susie does in 'her' Heaven. Watch snap-shots in time before they become another part in history.

Jul 01, 2014

I saw you @ ucla when you spoke with your husband about the experience and hybernation of the development of this book. I was with the best writer i have ever met and she loved mee. Thank you Alice Sebold I will never have another memory like that again! You are Great!

Jun 23, 2014
  • mswrite rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I am fascinated by all the "age suitability" notations for this book--every commenter has recommended it for ages 12-13 and over.
The significance there is that Susie Salmon, the heroine and narrator of this remarkable and moving story, is just 14 years old but already dead when we meet her.
As she watches over her grieving family from heaven, Susie tells us what happened to her: how she was raped and murdered by a neighbor whose carefully practiced, everyman quirkiness fools almost everyone he encounters, and how, even as a dedicated detective tries to solve the crime, this slightly odd "ordinary" man remains a lurking, predatory presence in her community.
Accordingly, the reader age recommendations for Alice Sebold's haunting story strike me as a kind of collective prayer and plea to all young readers everywhere, that in this fictional yet all-too-chillingly-real story, they might more seriously appreciate the bonds of family love as well as heed the perils of stranger-danger.

Jun 12, 2014

Having children of my own, this was hard to read. Yet , I had to keep reading to see how it ended. Disturbing at times but a thought-provoking story.

Mar 10, 2014

love this book!!!

Feb 08, 2014

i really loved this book, I really cried through the whole book. I watch the movie and read the book, I think that the book has much more detail. You have to read this book, its amazing. But, read the book and then watch the movie.

Nov 21, 2013
  • LaPhenixa rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Wow, I've never cried so much in a book! It was well written, however, incredibly depressing the whole way through.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

Dec 14, 2014

Kayla0625 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 10, 2014

joanna12300 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 09, 2014
  • teal_tiger_lilly rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

teal_tiger_lilly thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Mar 28, 2014

CatzMeows thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Feb 08, 2014

lilmisnawal thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 11, 2013
  • platypus101 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

platypus101 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 24, 2013
  • violet_owl_156 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

violet_owl_156 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Dec 01, 2012
  • White_Wolf_131 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

White_Wolf_131 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 07, 2012
  • veronicalynne rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

veronicalynne thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jan 24, 2012
  • bxlilchina rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

bxlilchina thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

View All Ages


Add a Summary

Jul 09, 2014
  • teal_tiger_lilly rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

a 14 year old girl is killed when she is going to a 36 year old mans house just to see his den ... she is killed and cut with a razor... the family is speechless and tries to find a way to move forward in their life

Jul 11, 2013
  • platypus101 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Susie "like the fish" Salmon. She's been dead since December 6, 1973. She was fourteen years old when she was raped and murdered by her neighbor. Here's how it happened. It's a cold snowy afternoon. After school, Susie takes a shortcut through the cornfield to her suburban Pennsylvania home. Mr. Harvey (who she recognizes but doesn't know) is in the cornfield. He's built an underground shelter, with a door that's covered with earth. He piques Susie's curiosity and lures her into the hole. She quickly learns this is a mistake, and he rapes and then kills her. Right now she's in heaven, which she soon learns is her personal heaven – everybody gets one when they die.

Jun 25, 2012
  • SAPPHIREBEAR15 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

On December 6, 1973, in a suburb of Philadelphia, 14-year-old Susie Salmon takes her usual shortcut home from her school through a cornfield. George Harvey, a 36-year-old single man who lives alone and builds doll houses for a living, persuades her to have a look at an underground den he has recently dug in the field. Once she has entered it, he rapes and murders her with a shaving razor and dismembers her body, putting her remains in a safe that he dumps in a sinkhole. Susie's spirit flees toward her personal heaven.
The Salmon family at first refuses to accept the fact that Susie is dead, until Susie's elbow is found by the neighbor's dog. The police talk to Harvey, finding him strange but seeing no reason to suspect him. Susie's father Jack, on extended leave from work, begins to suspect Harvey, a sentiment his surviving daughter Lindsey comes to share

Apr 07, 2010

An unusual coming-of-age story in which Susie, the 14-year-old narrator, watches from heaven over her family, her murderer and the police detective working on her case.

Fourteen-year-old Susie looks down from heaven and describes the horrifying events of her murder, while her family struggle to cope with the pain of her death.


Add a Notice

Aug 15, 2011
  • namitha_rathinappillai rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: They have.. you know... it.

Aug 15, 2011
  • namitha_rathinappillai rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Coarse Language: Swear words


Add a Quote

Jul 11, 2013
  • platypus101 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Inside the snow globe on my father's desk, there was a penguin wearing a red-and-white-striped scarf. When I was little my father would pull me into his lap and reach for the snow globe. He would turn it over, letting all the snow collect on the top, then quickly invert it. The two of us watched the snow fall gently around the penguin. The penguin was alone in there, I thought, and I worried for him. When I told my father this, he said, "Don't worry, Susie; he has a nice life. He's trapped in a perfect world.

Find it at CLEVNET