The Lovely Bones

ISBN: 159413023X
ISBN 13: 9781594130236
By: Alice Sebold

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About this book

When we first meet Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. As she looks down from this strange new place, she tells us, in the fresh and spirited voice of a fourteen-year-old girl, a tale that is both haunting and full of hope.In the weeks following her death, Susie watches life continuing without her -- her school friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her family holding out hope that she'll be found, her killer trying to cover his tracks. As months pass without leads, Susie sees her parents' marriage being contorted by her loss, her sister hardening herself in an effort to stay strong, and her little brother trying to grasp the meaning of the word goneAnd she explores the place called heaven. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. There are counselors to help newcomers adjust and friends to room with. Everything she ever wanted appears as soon as she thinks of it -- except the thing she wants most: to be back with the people she loved on Earth.With compassion, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie sees her loved ones pass through grief and begin to mend. Her father embarks on a risky quest to ensnare her killer. Her sister undertakes a feat of remarkable daring. And the boy Susie cared for moves on, only to find himself at the center of a miraculous event.

Reader's Thoughts

Trevor

I liked this book quite a bit. I found it to be a well-crafted story that kept me engaged all the way through. From the very first chapter where she depicts her own murder and subsequent ascent to "heaven," I thought it was extremely well-written. I also thought it provided an interesting perspective on grief and mourning as the remaining family members try to cope with their sudden loss. For anyone who's pondered the happenings of the afterlife, this book provides a unique ripple that's fresh, interesting and thought-provoking.

Claire Greene

This book has single handedly shown me that I spend too much time skimming and not enough time really reading and thinking about the books I have been reading. I have two kids and so I'm busy and I often find myself reading when I am stealing time or tired. But that is not even an excuse for this book. When i read the book I thought it was pretty good. Not great, but not bad. I liked the concept and the fact that the girl was the narrator. I like a murder mystery, so I liked the suspense of waiting to see if the guy would get caught, etc. So when all was said and done and I finished the book, I thought - yeah, okay. Not bad, but not great. Then I went online here and read the other reviews, particularly one by TheDane (http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/16...) and I went - HEY!! That's right! I mean, the writing alone is something I should have picked up one had I really been paying attention. Pupils pulsing like olives?? Buttering toast with tears?? Umm... I really must have been distracted or skimming like crazy because that is ridiculous. And the real meaning of the final scene went WAY over my head, which I am somewhat ashamed to admit. When I read it, I really was like, yeah yeah, oh that's sweet she got one night with her boyfriend which she had been cheated of and all. But when you slow down and really think of this, the enormity of that is overwhelming. A young girl who dies after being RAPED. A girl who's first sexual experience was RAPE by an older man. A girl who actually barely knew this boy in her life. This girl can only let go of life after having sex. With that boy. That she really didn't know that well. That alone is enough to send of some big alarms. But then you add that she was allowed to go back to earth - to have sex??? Not see her family, not comfort her father and brother and sister? Not point out the killer?? Nope, heaven lets her go back, then of all times, not earlier when she wanted it more, or could have done more both for justice and her family? So the admission to heaven is teen sex? Really? The way to overcome deep grief and gain acceptance and peace is.. again, teen sex? Wow. I missed out as a teen because that was NOT my experience. Okay, now louder warning bells should have been going off. But the final issue - she takes over the body of a "friend". Without the girl's knowledge or permission. The "friend" who is a lesbian. And uses her body to have sex with a boy. Just taking over her body is a violation. Taking over her body and using that time to have sex is another violation. And to have sex with a boy, knowing that is the antithesis of everything this "friend" would have wanted or agreed to is yet another violation. What the hell??? And none of that gets brought up or mentioned. No, it is a feel good ending. yeah! I mean, I have some pretty close friends - some I have known for at least triple the time these two girls have "known" each other - and if I somehow managed to just steal their bodies and have sex with a woman?? Well, it would be good for me that I was already dead. That is a betrayal in the worst sense on so many levels it is shocking. And what of the possible consequences? Pregnancy? STDs? Never mind the "lesser" consequences of emotional damage, damage to their friendship, the trust issues, etc etc etc????? After thinking about it more and more, I was truly embarrassed to have not seen these dark and disturbing connotations, made all the worse for the fact that the author serves this up as the feel good ending - not noticing the irony at all of having the main character who was raped and violated in turn rape and violate a friend, while denouncing the first act as a heinous crime and lauding the second act as happy ending? So in short, I have learned my lesson and I am now making more of an effort to truly read and then think about what I am reading!!!

Kim

Wow. I'm surprised that there was so much animosity towards this book (from the reviews here on Good Reads). Even if I didn't like it, I don't think I'd find so much in it to HATE it. The approach is different, which some might call trite or some call imaginative. I think I just liked Susie. She spoke what was on her mind, the perspective was fresh and the subject wasn't typical. Maybe this was a product of hype? I hadn't heard of it until a few friends recommended it to me last week. It took me a few hours to read and I enjoyed it. I won't rave on it, but I appreciate a good story.

Merna

I have this bad habit when I’m reading particular books. As I’m reading, I precipitously nod off. I’m still reading(unconsciously), but my mind however has wondered off and I'm thinking about other things. Such as: “What should I eat tomorrow? Or “What the hell did I even do today?” Now, I don’t essentially notice I’m doing this. It’s only after a while when I return back to reading yet again, and the book is going on about something I don’t even remember occurring, I then comprehend that I must have nodded off. And the furthermost bothersome part about this habit is: I have to go back and read the section I missed, again. This happened more often than I'm able to count in the lovely bones. Don’t get me wrong, the lovely bones has a nice structured idea (not very original) but nonetheless a good Idea. However, the author accomplished to make my tedious life more entertaining than a book. Is that what the book lacked, entertaining the readers? The characterization was spot on for some characters, (not all) but then again that doesn’t mean the characters were attention-grabbing. The book was intriguing at first. I’m not being a creep or anything, but the only stimulating part in the entire novel was the opening of chapter one, and that's when she gets murdered. The rest was in slow motion, and then in the last 100 pages it was instantly fast-tracked five years into the future. The book revolves around the family and friends of Susie who are coping with her murder. That was the whole plot.Right at the end of the book the author does the unthinkable. She shatters all the rules she set out in the whole book about how the dead couldn’t contact humans in anyway. But for some unexplainable reason Susie is able to get into Ruth’s body, and somehow control it. Now, that Susie is able to control Ruth’s body, rather than telling the police where her psychotic murderer could be found or where her dead body lay. Susie instead decides to have sex. Really?This reminded me of Stephanie Meyer’s series - Twilight. Basically, Meyer spent the entire series telling us about how every new born vampire has a difficult time controlling their blood hunger. But however in the end Bella is just a natural at controlling her thirst. Waste of my life.I still gave the book three stars because frankly it wasn’t horrible. Just not as good as other people set it out to be.

kensou09

Alice Sebold's haunting and heartbreaking debut novel, The Lovely Bones, unfolds from heaven, where "life is a perpetual yesterday" and where Susie, a girl raped and murdered at the age of 14, narrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well as her brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case, struggling to accept her death while as well as clinging to the lost world of the living.The book started out strong, but it fizzled completely in the middle. Sebold kept giving hints of a great story, but fell short with endless, boring, inconsequential details and a lack of detail when it really mattered. Call me unimaginative, but I don't like when a writer leaves important details to the readers imagination. Spell it out for me.Being an avid mystery/horror story lover, and reading my fair share of books regarding the "great beyond", I didn't get the feeling she had enough knowledge to adequately write about such topics. Her clues and climaxes went nowhere and it left me with more questions than answers. She would draw me in with these little details I thought she's expand on, and never did.If you're not a very sentimental person, don't buy this book. If you're the type of person that likes closure at the end of the story, don't read this book. If you're looking for a wonderful view of heaven and the "great beyond", don't read the book.Anyway, it's just my advice. Opinion depends upon each reader's point of view.

Maggie

Title: The Lovely Bones Author: Alice SeboldNumber of Pages: 384Publisher: 2006 by Little, BrownCost: $13.95/19$19.95 in Canada ISBN: ISBN 0-316-6166685 The Lovely Bones is a book that is shocking and moving at the same time. It was everything that a book should be. In my opinion, The Lovely Bones was one the most interesting novels every written. You are probably asking yourself, “Well, what is so interesting about it?” “My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6th, 1973.”(Sebold, 5). That is a quote that appears as the opening sentence of a 384 page book. That tells you directly that the book is going to be attention-grabbing. The book starts out with Susie (the protagonist) telling us (the readers) many things about her life and different events that are happening on Earth. That’s right, on Earth. The setting that Susie is living in and telling us various events is heaven. She is alone and misses her family. She was fourteen years old when she was brutally raped and killed by a neighborhood fellow. Now, in heaven she watched everything and everyone, especially her family and close ones. Along the way of watching all those different events, Susie discovers secrets and things that were never suppose to be seen. Some of the secrets are superior and some very poor, but both of them change her views on certain people. What I liked about the book was the irony that appeared throughout the book. Just think, a little girl growing up. But she is dead. Another fixation that I enjoyed was all the literary devices that were portrayed throughout the book. That is also what makes the book very interesting. I recommend this book for people who enjoy moving, intersting, dramatic and eye catching things. I recommend this book for a good read.=]

KT

Haaaaaated it. I am one of those OCD literary nerds who takes on a war bunker mentality with books that I've started and dislike: "I will see this through to the end." For "The Lovely Bones," I made an exception.Somewhere, sometime, someone told Sebold she could write. That person should be made to apologize to me, in person, and to all other poor souls who were duped into buying this shlock. The literary press also needs to break out the cattails for a serious bout of flogging. Lev Grossman of Time Magazine is at the top of my flogging docket; he called this book "a beautiful, sensitive, melancholy novel" and repeated that claim a year later in a review for a book called "The Dogs of Babel" (a book just as terrible as The Lovely Bones). I can only assume that Mr. Grossman confined his reading to the zeros on the check accompanying the publisher's blurb or else has some sort of vitamin deficiency that causes his brain to process ham-handed tripe as "beautiful" art.It was Mr. Grossman's review along with the alluring premise of the novel (a young girl posthumously tries to make sense of the events that led to her death) that led me to order "The Lovely Bones" and "The Dogs of Babel," which at the time were only available in hardcover. Financial reasons made this an extremely uncommon practice for me, and my experience reading both of those novels ensured that I would never do so again.To further illustrate how absolutely wretched this novel is, I'm going to provide a paragraph of background. The "substance" of the novel will be criticized in the subsequent body of this review.During the summer of 2003, I was occupying space as an intern at a company that accepted me at the last minute and had nothing for me to do. The company was white-collar and behemoth in office space. HR sent me to an deserted floor to file documents that took up, at most, 2 hours of my 8-hour day. Even in this vacuum of monotony, I could not finish this book. I chose to watch paint chip away, and pick up dust bunnies with recycled paper (I didn't have a broom) rather than finish this book.So with that said, I suppose I should actually mention something specific about the book I hated. My caveat here is that I am unwilling to punish myself by picking through a copy of the book for textual examples. I'm going by memory and online synopses alone.The narrator and victim is "Susie Salmon." Let me stop there. SUSIE SALMON. That really should have clued me in, but I was too eager to see how the author would represent the afterlife, to catch a glimpse of this beautiful pain of looking a life that goes on without you.Unfortunately, Sebold managed to bleach out anything remotely interesting out of the plot in spectacular fashion. Heaven is a school, you see, not that Susie spends much time there or learns anything. Her rapist and murderer is a creepy loser while somehow being the dullest of all of Sebold's numerous dull characters. The "reason" for his murderous tendencies could be guessed by anyone who's ever even heard of a pop psychology book.You'd think her family would at least be interesting in grief, but Sebold reduces them to one note drones. Everything in The Lovely Bones is a gimmick, played cheaply for sentiment and with no other reward. I'd compare to a Hallmark movie, but Hallmark movies do not adopt the pretension that Sebold belabors with terrible pseudo-post-modernist metaphors. All of this would be bad enough, but what made me throw this book "aside with great force" is the offensive, and unjustifiable resolution to Susie's laments that she did not get to live. This unfairness, although poorly developed, was at least a cause of sympathy until Susie decides to forcibly correct it at the expense of others. In the hands of someone else, this last turn could've been bleak insight into motivations of the cycle of victimization but Sebold conveys not one iota of ambivalence.Much of my hatred of this novel results from its inexplicable popularity and commendation from people who have a responsibility to promote reading. I shudder to think who else picked up this novel convinced it was the best that the contemporary literary world had to offer. It is not my intention to slam those who enjoyed this book. If you did, I am glad to hear it. I love books, and I want others to love books. I simply fear that someone who is tempted out of a long vacation from reading might pick up a novel like this and give up the cause for lost.

Maggie

Why did this book get so much love? Maybe it's the same reason that child molestation/abduction/murder always shoots to the top of CNN.com's list of most-read stories. America is fascinated with the subject matter. That's the only explanation I can think of. As has been said by other reviewers here, the book itself was atrociously written, with flat, stereotyped characters and is full of laugh-out-loud awful passages. I only finished it so that no one could pull the old "But it gets better..." on me. It does not. More generally, I'd also like to add: When people say, "I felt like I knew the characters in (insert title of any book here)," watch out. Sometimes it means that the author has created a strikingly believable character; but more often it means that the author has created a bunch of lifeless characters into whom your friend has pumped the authenticity of people whom they know.

mark monday

the first chapter is pretty impressive: a perfectly captured voice, a suspenseful and disturbing narrative, a jarring end. overall that first part was a moving and challenging experience. the rest of the novel is less impressive, but there is an originality to it that was appealing. the First Person Omniscient perspective has been remarked upon in many reviews - and it does make this book a rather unusual experience. that personalized omniscience creates an at-times annoying quirkiness, but also some pretty wonderful moments, particularly in the noting of various small details - the kind of details that tell you all about a person, the emotions they are wrestling with, what their life story is all about.but what i found most interesting about Lovely Bones was perhaps not as intentional - namely, the very distancing blandness of our sorta-heroine's voice. if this child had lived, she may have grown up to be ann beattie or margaret diehl or joan didion. her emotional range is not one of many peaks and valleys, it is rather a pleasant flatline. that detachment, that even-handedness, that smoothness... it is a bit strange, a bit creepy. what in the world are they taking up there in heaven, some kind of mega-strength prozac or valium? the afterlife sounds like my exact cup of tea: a place to idly contemplate the lives of those we lived with - but no anxious worrying, no getting unduly agitated or emotional. how relaxing!there was one key part that i did not care for at all, perhaps enough to dock a star off of this one: the unappealing possession-cum-fantasy sex scene at the end. ugh. it is hard to complain about such a scene not being "realistic", but it just did not feel real to me - well at least the feelings of the two living people involved did not make emotional sense. also, sad to say, it reminded me of the demi moore-makes out with-whoopi goldberg-who is possessed by-patrick swayze scene from Ghost... and that is never a good thing.

Emily May

After hearing all the hype about this book, I couldn't wait to read it and discover how amazing it is for myself. I was greatly disappointed.How has this book become such a worldwide success? It's slow, boring and there is no real connection with any of the characters. I found myself disliking everyone in the book.The overall idea could have been very good, even though it isn't exactly original, but I just thought the author didn't make the most of this great idea that she had. The best part of the book, without meaning to sound gruesome and morbid, was the death scene at the beginning. I admit that it was creepy and well told, I read that and geared myself up for a good book. But for me, it was as if the story ended there and the rest was a load of slow-moving waffle. The great idea had come along, happened for a while, and then died a painful death with the protagonist. The characters weren't interesting enough to hold up the rest of the story, I was just relieved when I finally got to the end. It was a painfully boring book... and I've lost count of the times people have told me how much they love it - why? Did I miss something? I honestly feel like I've read a completely different book from everyone else... I do not understand it's popularity at all.

tee

** spoiler alert ** I was really disappointed with this book. The first half was easy enough to read and then I started getting bored. Sebold rehashed the same old 'poignant' lines which was just frustrating after a while. However, if that was the only problem I had I wouldn't be complaining.I thought that the ending was nauseatingly shit; falling to earth into a body to have sex with some guy who we didn't really care about ... for no reason? Was it supposed to be a tear-jerker moment because I felt like throwing the book against the wall. Perhaps I was just confused because she'd watched her murderer stalk her sister hours (minutes?) beforehand and didn't use the opportunity on earth to confront her murderer. Maybe it was that the first half really did have promise but then Sebold threw me into an unexpected (and unwelcome) supernatural spin. The worst thing was there was just no substance.Then there's the "random" coincidences - Samuel and Lindsey pulling off the road in the rain, running to the abandoned shack then running all the way home only to ... find out at the conclusion that Ruth's dad owns the house. To me, this really shitty writing. What about Hal, what was the point of Hal's character? To be Grandma's gimp? I felt like there was no point to these side-line stories and cardboard cutout characters.There wasn't even any meat behind the mother leaving and completely abandoning her family. I think if you're going to include something as dramatic as that in the novel perhaps touch on it a little more. We don't want to know she's working in a wine factory, we want to know what is going on in her head! Then she wanders back into the finale, has a cup of tea with another random character, her son runs past because he has new drumset ... loose, loose, loooooose writing. I'm not a believer in heaven but am interested in other's perceptions of it. I found Sebold's ideas disappointing. School buildings? A few people dressed up as snowflakes at Christmas time? A very random connection with her Grandfather? To me, this novel could be a great sketched-out version - to be used for an actual story but as It was, it needed fleshing out, reworking and editing. Oh boy did it need editing.Great idea. Poor execution. And maybe that's what everyone got so carried away with, the idea was grand - so grand that they were blinded by the weakness of the script. Further, we all like to comfort ourselves with the whole heaven theory, don't we? The fact that we mean so much to people that we'll continue having such a huge impact on them. That we get to watch them from above after we're dead (voyeuristic much?). That this isn't it. Our one shot at life. All in all, if people love this book and it affects them, changes their life, their outlook, makes them feel warm and fuzzy, makes them tearful or full of rapture - that's a good thing. I'm just disappointed that such a top seller couldn't do that for me.

Suyana

"The Lovely Bones," had me crying from start to finish. This book is extremely emotion packed. But this book was interestingly written because it's from the point of view from a girl who was murdered. The book starts like this: "My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973." Already you want to read it; right? You follow the life that this young girl once had as she tells you about the memories she had, the things she learned, and the people she loved. Susie also talks about her "heaven." In her heaven, Susie does not let her family and friends go. She follows them through the years, watching her younger sister Lindsey does everything that she would have done if she was alive. Susie can't let her family go, and they see her everywhere; in the valley where she was killed; in her fathers work room. It makes you value your family when you read about the devastation they were left with. I especially was sympathetic for her father. Through out the book you can see how difficult it was for him to realize and begin to let go of the fact that his first born had been killed. It's hard to imagine losing a child, but from reading this book I’ve begun to realize that it's a kind of sorrow that can only be felt by a parent. If you are in the mood for reading a depressing story then this book is definitely for you.The diction that Alice Sebold uses creates clear visuals in my head of what it was that Susie saw, and what she felt like being dead. You invision her family members and the environment that Susie had once been in. Another things that made me like this book so much was the fact that there were details that were used to help describe Susie that were also about me. A simple once was the fact that she was reading Othello in school. The use of details to develope the characters are very well done by Alice Sebold.

Jennifer Wardrip

Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for TeensReadToo.comTHE LOVELY BONES will haunt you. This book tells the story of the most horrific thing a family could ever endure, the murder of a loved one, a child. The child is 14-year-old Susie Salmon. We see the murder through her eyes, after she is killed. Susie narrates her story from heaven, a place like I'd not before imagined. Her heaven begins as her school playground. Slowly it grows to become more. Susie merely longs for something she misses from earth, and it appears, except, of course, the living. Although she can watch her loved ones, know what they are doing, thinking, and feeling, she cannot be with them, or they with her. The book begins with the emotional, frightening, and vividly shown homicide. Through Susie's eyes, we understand how he tricked her. We feel her terror as we realize, with her, what's about to happen. Then the scene moves to another, equally heartbreaking moment, three days later when a neighbor's dog finds a body part. You would think, at this point, that you wouldn't be able to read further, that you'd close the book and never reopen it. But you won't be able to. Like Susie, we want to know her family will be okay. We want to know the killer won't get away with it. The author, Alice Sebold, artfully forces you to read on. Susie watches her friends whisper about her at school. She watches as her younger sister, Lindsey, hardens to stone. Her four-year-old brother, Buckley, is passed from neighbor to neighbor, having sleepovers, told his sister has just gone away for a bit. She listens to the detective, Len, tell her parents the inevitable, that they are now investigating her disappearance as a murder. Her family slowly begins to crumble and Susie can do nothing to help. This sounds like a suffocating, depressing book, but as you read you'll feel encouraged as Susie's family begins to move on, never to forget, but to begin to live life without her. Buckley struggles to understand the meaning of forever. Susie's dad becomes obsessed with proving he's not crazy, that he's certain who killed his daughter. Susie's mom handles the stress by hiding from it. And Lindsey, known as the girl whose sister was murdered, strives to find herself again. She searches for love. And she takes a huge risk to help her dad flush out the killer. The ending is incredibly sweet. Amazing as it may seem, you will feel Susie's joy as she lets go of those she's left behind. For me, the ending wasn't perfect, it left me wanting, but I imagine that was deliberate. Life itself is not perfect. But life has hope. And that's the feeling that will stay with you as you turn the last page. It's a memorable read, not for the faint of heart. Expect to feel. To fear, to cry, and, yes, to laugh. THE LOVELY BONES will touch the very core of your being. Alice Sebold has written beautifully of the ugliest scenario possible. Wow.

Tracy

** spoiler alert ** not generally the sort of book i read, but it surprisingly hooked me in. i'm not sure it was exactly good, but i really couldn't put it down, so there's something to be said for that. my main problem with it was that it was just really unsatisfying in some ways... there's no wrapping up of loose ends. i mean really (and there are spoilers ahead, so watch out), the murderer gets away with it? they never find her body!? that was soooooo frusterating, especially since i'm a big fan of things like cold case files and stuff like that (i mean, how great would it have been if he'd gotten caught like 10 years later at the end of the book? that would have made it about a million times better). and although i kind of enjoyed sebold's interpretation of heaven (my very favorite part was when susie's dog died and joined her in heaven), but it was just a little creepy at the end where susie possesses ruth and gets it on with her pre-teen crush. plus, kind of weird, especially seeing as how ruth is a lesbian, she and the boy are buddies, and the main character was the victim of a sex crime. i know ruth had special abilities and all that, but i think fingering the killer would have been a better use of them.also, i really think i have to point out how strikingly similar the opening line of the book is to teen fiction; specifically, it brings to mind THE LAST VAMPIRE by christopher pike. mind you, i haven't read christopher pike since i was 13, but from what i remember that series (told in first person by the last vampire herself) started pretty much exactly the same way. i think he also had a book told in the first person by a dead girl who possessed the body of a friend of hers, so it's not exactly revolutionary. which isn't neccessarily a bad way to start, but a little bit obvious. anyway, it was a strangely entralling book, but i think it might a bit similar to the davinci code, in that it seems really good while you're reading it, but then afterward you realize it actually was sort of less than it should have been.

midnightfaerie

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold was an amazing book and well written. It’s about a teenage girl who is killed and stays on earth as a ghost to watch over her family. Portrayal of a 14 yr old as she matures as a ghost over the years is excellent. Description of heaven gave me a new perspective of how it might really be. I don’t generally like sad books, but this might be worth reading to those looking for something a little deeper with a storyline to keep you interested. She lives vicariously through her younger sister quite a bit, which is interesting since it isn’t really her life. Overall, I thought it was a good read. Don’t know if I liked it enough to recommend it, but it definitely wasn’t bad. I liked how it flowed from one thought to another even if that thought was about something that happened years ago and two seconds later we were back at the murder scene. I also think it’s worth comparing the book to the movie, which I rented immediately after finishing the book. Obviously the movie never contains everything from the book. Those people out there that look for the same experience in a movie that they received from the book will always be disappointed. It’s a different medium, therefore it will be expressed differently. Book is much more graphic that the movie. For example, in the movie, the girl gets her first kiss when she goes into the body of Ruth. In the book, when she goes into Ruth’s body she ends up staying for awhile and makes love to Ray quite a few times. In the book, also, it goes into some detail about her rape, whereas the movie glosses over this. These are just small differences. There are others. One thing I really enjoyed about the movie was the imagery they used to portray her heaven. Beautiful, something you can only get from a movie. I do wish some of the smaller details had been added such as her reunion with her dog and how he was one of the few that could see her when others couldn’t. But I love dogs and thought that added to the story. The book also went into great detail about Ruth and her ability to see how people died and how she journaled it. I wish they would have expanded on her character a bit. There were some small differences like the event that brought back the mother, but nothing significant enough to change the feel of the story. The biggest and probably only thing that really bothered me was the time difference. In the book, Suzie watched her family for years and years. For example, her sister graduated from college, got married and had a baby in the book, but in the movie, not as much time passed. For example, I noticed throughout the movie, they used lines read directly from the book to stay true to the story. Well, one they used at the end shouldn’t have been used, especially since they didn’t stay true to the time difference. I’ll quote it here, “You don’t notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You’re not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down.” Undulating is not a word that a 14 yr old uses. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard an adult use it. It’s a great word which has its uses in a literary text, but doesn’t make sense coming from a child. The Suzie in the book says this after years and years of observing her family and you’re not really sure how many years have passed, but it’s almost as she’s an adult in maturity with everything’s she’s went through. So it fit beautifully. However, in the movie, the time difference wasn’t there, and it seemed as if the story ended with the girl still being 14 yrs old. So the line didn’t fit. I guess not a big deal but it bothered me. Didn’t fit with the consistency of the story they were trying to show in the movie. In any case, both the book is worth reading and the movie worth watching for their own interpretations. ClassicsDefined.com

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