Monday, January 23, 2006

An interesting perspective

So the other night, I read The Lovely Bones cover to cover. I didn't want to read the book at all, actually. I had picked it up and put it down about a dozen times at various bookstores and at the library. Something about the idea of a child being raped and murdered at the beginning of the novel didn't exactly reach out to me and say "read me!"

But at the end of my writing class last semester, we had a book exchange, and I received Alice Sebold's book. It had been on my shelf since then--for over a month--staring at me everytime I sat down at my computer. I was bored for five minutes on Saturday and was looking for something to read. So I gave Sebold a try.

I still can't say I'm in love with the book. The content gave me lots and lots of problems on a personal level. I shed several tears. But the one thing I will say is that Sebold does a really good job of telling a story from a unique perspective--that of her protagonist who is in "her" heaven, looking down on earth and her family and friends, and trying to make sense of what she sees. Since she was young when she died (I'm thinking 14 but it might have been 11--there were several young female victims profiled in the story), she never "grows up," so to speak, but she does mature in a weird, distant way.

Sebold's writing of Susie (the protagonist)'s view of heaven is fascinating--basically, if you want something enough in heaven, you will get it. But everyone's heaven is different, as a result. Some intersect and others do not. It was a comforting notion--especially having lost someone so significant so early in my own life. It would be nice to believe.

It was interesting to see the way that Susie's parents and siblings handled their grief, and how some of Susie's acquaintances' lives were shaped by the incidents surrounding her murder. Plotwise, the story moved. Writing-wise, it was worth savoring. Sebold writes as a poet in novel form, but not in a way that makes you want to smack her and yell, "get real." She knows how to craft a phrase. And Susie's perspective reminds me of an innocent Huck Finn at times (without the local color, of course)--reporting on what she sees without necessarily understanding it all.

You feel for Sebold's characters. You care about what happens to them. You get angry. At least I did. When the murderer is finally brought to justice, for me, it wasn't enough.

I read until 1:30 am which was stupid, since I had to get up the next morning. But I was so disturbed by the story, I had trouble sleeping. I know I have an overactive imagination, but....

Anyway, it was a good read.

Other updates--Sam's pants are almost finished (knitting project), which is good because if I don't finish soon he will be too big for them.

Sam is rolling now, although not consistently. He gets halfway over and gets frustrated and cries. Just like his mommy!

Syd agreed to wear "big girl underwears" today. I was ecstatic. But then of course, when it came time for her nap, she refused to take them off and put a pullup on. So I know when she wakes up, I will be changing sheets. She wants to wear them, but doesn't want to sit on the toilet. What's a girl to do?

1 comment:

Susan said...

I mostly liked __The Lovely Bones__ but not as much as the rest of the world seemed to... I much much much preferred her non-fic which is less known: __Lucky__ - don't discount it based on __LB__ if you see it somewhere... :)