Sunday, January 17, 2010

Read: The Lovely Bones

So I finished The Lovely Bones a few days ago (well actually almost a week at this point).

I absolutely LOVED the book. I could barely put it down. One of the most striking aspects of the book, at least to me, are the descriptions author Alice Sebold uses. [sidebar: Alice Sebold graduated from UC Irvine! That makes me very proud of my Alma Mater!] Where any run of the mill writer would say "the eggs which we dyed", Sebold says "the eggs which we had dunked in dye" (that's actually not a direct quote, just a from memory quote, so it could be slightly off. The word was either dunked or submerged, now I'm not positive). But somehow that description struck me as unique. It's the same concept, dyeing an egg is essentially submerging/dunking it in dye, but I felt like I had never seen it described like that. And that is just one example that stuck in my mind, though the book is littered with other examples. Also, that is only one facet of the novel, but it's the one I found most appealing, and most distinctive about the book.

The plot is a unique one as well. Despite the fact that the commercial for the new movie makes it seem as if it's just about solving the mystery of the main characters death (which happens in the first chapter, and is talked about on the back of the book, so I didn't give anything away), it's also a story about a family and a small town coming to terms with the death of their daughter, their sister, their friend. And while part of this "coming to terms" is trying to solve the mystery, it's also a glance at the coping mechanisms of individuals, family dynamics, and friendship. The writing and the story is unique, extraordinary, and sometimes funny, while other times heartbreaking. There really is no other way for me to say, other than I absolutely loved it.

PS: I finished The Little Prince today, and even though it is really short I'm counting it as my book for the week, as Reading Lolita in Tehran is taking much longer than I thought. So that will be my next book entry! Thanks for reading Amy! :)


  1. I have to recommend two books to you! I just finished Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky, about the German invasion and occupation of France in WWII, written from the perspective of ordinary French citizens. Nemirovsky was a Russian Jew who had escaped the Bolsheviks by fleeing to France. She died in Auschwitz before completing the Suite. Definitely the best book I've read since One Hundred Years of Solitude.

    The other is WEDLOCK: How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match, about the wealthiest widow in Britain being tricked into a brutal, licentious marriage by a con-artist "gentleman farmer." It's so gripping and dramatic, I can't put it down! I did an hour on the excercise bike today without even notcing because I was so engrossed.

    I love your blog! Keep on writing. xx Haley

  2. Hey Haley! Thanks for the these recommendations! I saw Suite Francaise and ALMOST bought it awhile ago, but the hardcover and lack of paperback scared me off. I'll have to give it a try though!