Wednesday 24 November 2010

"The Lovely Bones" Alice Sebold

Like "The Da Vinci Code" this book is one that I think most people know the story to whether they have read it or not. A young girl is murdered and then watches her family from heaven. I was a new bookseller when it first came out in paperback and was hugely popular then. As with other books this put me off reading it. To be honest the story didn't particularly appeal either and the popularity of her real life book "Lucky" also put me off. It's second life as the film came out also didn't induce me to read it. I had no interest in seeing the film. So why did I finally pick the book up? A friend encouraged me to. She said I should ignore the hype, open up my mind and give it a try.

Unfortunately I did. The first scene is the murder scene. I have read my fair share of crime and horror books and so this shouldn't have bothered me. It did though. I found it very difficult to read and more than a little disturbing. I think if I hadn't promised my friend I would have put it down. As it is thinking about it still disturbs me a little. As a result I found the first half of the book a very upsetting.

Once I had gotten over that I felt the second half of the book was just boring. It read like a very bad teen book. Again I have read my fair share of teen books both good and bad so I know a bad one when I see it. The family live their lives with the dead daughter watching on and that's pretty much it. Nothing else happens. Sure they are still affected by her death (what real life parent wouldn't be?) but not much changes after the half way point. The family didn't even get closure. Instead they moved on as best they could as did the daughter in heaven.

In case you hadn't guessed I didn't enjoy it at all but at least I gave it a chance. I honestly don't get what the fuss was about. I don't understand how anyone can get enjoyment out of it or why anyone would want to make a film never mind go and see it. I do think that the author has used this book as some sort of therapy for her own experiences (unconsciously I am sure). If that's the case and it helped then maybe that's a good thing. It's the only positive thing I can say about the book.