The Good, the Bad, and the Hungry Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lauren Owen: IMG The Other Vampire



It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$4.50
List price: $22.00
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
3 Burnside Literature- A to Z

The Lovely Bones

by

The Lovely Bones Cover

ISBN13: 9780316666343
ISBN10: 0316666343
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 3 left in stock at $4.50!

 

 

Reading Group Guide

1. In Susie's Heaven, she is surrounded by things that bring her peace. What would your Heaven be like? Is it surprising that in Susie's inward, personal version of the hereafter there is no God or larger being that presides?

2. Why does Ruth become Susie's main connection to Earth? Was it accidental that Susie touched Ruth on her way up to Heaven, or was Ruth actually chosen to be Susie's emotional conduit?

3. Rape is one of the most alienating experiences imaginable. Susie's rape ends in murder and changes her family and friends forever. Alienation is transferred, in a sense, to Susie's parents and siblings. How do they each experience loneliness and solitude after Susie's death?

4. Why does the author include details about Mr. Harvey's childhood and his memories of his mother? By giving him a human side, does Sebold get us closer to understanding his motivation? Sebold explained in an interview about the novel that murderers "are not animals but men," and that is what makes them so frightening. Do you agree?

5. Discuss the way in which guilt manifests itself in the various characters - Jack, Abigail, Lindsay, Mr. Harvey, Len Fenerman.

6. "Pushing on the inbetween" is how Susie describes her efforts to connect with those she has left behind on Earth. Have you ever felt as though someone was trying to communicate with you from "the inbetween"?

7. Does Buckley really see Susie, or does he make up a version of his sister as a way of understanding, and not being too emotionally damaged by, her death? How do you explain tragedy to a child? Do you think Susie's parents do a good job of helping Buckley comprehend the loss of his sister?

8. Susie is killed just as she was beginning to see her mother and father as real people, not just as parents. Watching her parents' relationship change in the wake of her death, she begins to understand how they react to the world and to each other. How does this newfound understanding affect Susie?

9. Can Abigail's choice to leave her family be justified?

10. Why does Abigail leave her dead daughter's photo outside the Chicago Airport on her way back to her family?

11. Susie observes that "The living deserve attention, too." She watches her sister, Lindsay, being neglected as those around her focus all their attention on grieving for Susie. Jack refuses to allow Buckley to use Susie's clothes in his garden. When is it time to let go?

12. Susie's Heaven seems to have different stages, and climbing to the next stage of Heaven requires her to remove herself from what happens on Earth. What is this process like for Susie?

13. In The Lovely Bones , adult relationships (Abigail and Jack, Ray's parents) are dysfunctional and troubled, whereas the young relationships (Lindsay and Samuel, Ray and Susie, Ray and Ruth) all seem to have depth, maturity, and potential. What is the author saying about young love? About the trials and tribulations of married life?

14. Is Jack Salmon allowing himself to be swallowed up by his grief? Is there a point where he should have let go? How does his grief process affect his family? Is there something admirable about holding on so tightly to Susie's memory and not denying his profound sadness?

15. Ray and Susie's final physical experience (via Ruth's body) seems to act almost as an exorcism that sweeps away, if only temporarily, Susie's memory of her rape. What is the significance of this act for Susie, and does it serve to counterbalance the violent act that ended Susie's life?

16. Alice Sebold seems to be saying that out of tragedy comes healing. Susie's family fractures and comes back together, a town learns to find strength in each other. Do you agree that good can come of great trauma?

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 26 comments:

mlovesart, October 14, 2010 (view all comments by mlovesart)
Good read. I just didn't like the ending.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
lovely me , January 17, 2010 (view all comments by lovely me )
when I first picked up this book I thought it was a girly book talking about boys and girl stuff. Then one I started to read this book I loved it. Its a book that has suspense,drama,and other emotions mixed in it. I hope are age of society (teenagers) well get to read this book, they don't know what they are missing.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
mother of two, January 12, 2010 (view all comments by mother of two)
I read this book after my mother had died while I was pregnant, having not lived to meet any of her now seven grandchildren. I miss my mother every day. This book helps me believe she is not fully gone. The Lovely Bones is the only thing I've ever read that has given me hope that there is an afterlife of some meaning and a place in the world where good triumps over evil. I was afraid to give it to my little sister who quit work to return home to care for our mother in her final illness, but finally worked up the courage when she was nursing her newborn 15 months after my first was born. Why was I afraid? I don't know exactly. Some of it was worry that she'd be hurt, some of it was that I would offend, and part of it was that I was afraid she wouldn't get it -- that my reaction was too absurd to be shared by another. Since then I've come to know many people as profoundly moved by this book as she and I were.
This is a beautifully written, thoughtful, real story of people's inner lives when faced with tragedy unimaginable and the need to carry on. It is a book everyone should read, whether parent or child. It says much about our society without preaching or judging yet leaves the reader wanting to be a better person so as to create a better world.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 26 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780316666343
Author:
Sebold, Alice
Publisher:
Little Brown and Company
Location:
Boston
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Crimes against
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Fiction (general)
Subject:
Teenage girls
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Murder victims' families
Subject:
Crimes
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Series Volume:
1625-C
Publication Date:
July 2002
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
5-1/2 x 8-1/4

Other books you might like

  1. Lucky
    Used Trade Paper $4.50
  2. Bel Canto: A Novel
    Used Trade Paper $1.95
  3. The Secret Life of Bees
    Used Trade Paper $2.95
  4. The Lovely Bones
    Used Trade Paper $0.95
  5. The Nanny Diaries Used Mass Market $0.99
  6. Blue Diary
    Used Trade Paper $4.50

Related Subjects

» BLOCKED
» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Lovely Bones Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316666343 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Don't start Lovely Bones unless you can finish it. The book begins with more horror than you could imagine, but closes with more beauty than you could hope for....But emotionally, it's faultless. Sebold never slips as she follows this family. The risks she walks are enough to give you vertigo. A victim of rape herself when she was in college, she includes some deadly satire of the shallow advice people offer in the face of great loss. There is no "moving on," and time alone won't bring relief either. That only comes through the hard work of learning to care for the living while cradling the memory of this loved one. As her father eventually realizes, 'You live in the face of it.'" (read the entire CSM review)
"Review" by , "[A] keenly observed portrait of familial love....[A] deeply affecting meditation on the ways in which terrible pain and loss can be redeemed through love and acceptance."
"Review" by , "[A] small but far from minor miracle....[A] story that is both tragic and full of light and grace....Sebold maintains [a] delicate balance between homely and horrid....[F]ull of suspense and written in lithe, resilient prose that by itself delights."
"Review" by , "Few novels, debut or otherwise, are as masterful or as compelling as Sebold's....[A] beautiful novel....[Sebold] challenges us to re-imagine happy endings, as she brings the novel to a conclusion that is unfalteringly magnificent. And she paints, with an artist's precision, a portrait of a world where the terrible and the miraculous can and do co-exist."
"Review" by , "Almost everything that makes The Lovely Bones the breakout fiction debut of the year — the sweetness, the humor, the kicky rhythm, the deadpan suburban gothic — is...packed into [the] first two lines, under pressure and waiting to explode....Sebold...imagines the unimaginable and in doing so reminds us that...missing girls aren't just tabloid icons or martyred innocents but real human beings..."
"Review" by , "An extraordinary, almost-successful debut that treats sensational material with literary grace....[A] thoroughly engaging voice....Works beautifully for so long as Susie simply tells the truth, then falters when the author goes for bigger truths about Love and Life. Still, mostly mesmerizing and deserving of the attention it's sure to receive."
"Review" by , "[A] powerful first novel....Sebold's compelling and sometimes poetic prose style and unsparing vision transform Susie's tragedy into an ultimately rewarding novel. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "Sebold has given us a fantasy-fable of great authority, charm, and daring. She's a one-of-a-kind writer."
"Review" by , "[P]ainfully funny, terribly sad, it is a feat of imagination and a tribute to the healing power of grief."
"Review" by , "[E]xplores, with clear-eyed affection and wit, the romance of family life, the shy, funny turbulence of adolescence and the painful tracks love and loss make..."
"Review" by , "Intensely wise and gorgeously written, The Lovely Bones is a heart-breaking page-turner..."
"Review" by , "If you only have time to read one book this summer, it's The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold."
"Review" by , "Alice Sebold's first novel is amazing. Careful and courageous, original and profound, The Lovely Bones spins the most painful subject imaginable into pure gold."
"Review" by , "Sebold achieves something extraordinary in this novel: she makes manifest, in a beautifully written and complex story full of love and hope, the utter banality of evil."
"Review" by , "What a wonderful writer Alice Sebold is. Out of darkness she makes light, out of despair and violence, beauty, out of deep loss a peculiar, hard-won gain..."
"Review" by , "This is an extraordinary novel, deeply unsettling, beautiful, tender, unbearably sad, wise..."
"Synopsis" by , From the author of the stunning memoir, Lucky, comes a fiction debut narrated from heaven. Starting with the first chapter, 14-year-old Susie Salmon recounts her rape and murder and watches her family as they cope with their grief.
"Synopsis" by , In the hands of a brilliant new novelist, and through the eyes of her winning new heroine, this tale of family, memory, love, and living is told by 14-year-old Susie Salmon, who is already in heaven. In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and builds out of her family's grief the most hopeful and joyful of stories.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.