The lovely bones by Alice Sebold
2. Plot Write a news paper article
3. Characters – Write a letter from one of the main character
4. Themes: Find six keywords and explain their meaning
5. Language + Setting: Rewrite a chapter or section of the novel from another character’s point of view
Book report by Raina Monika
Name: Alice Sebold |
Date of Birth: 1963 |
Nationality: American |
Gender: Female |
Occupation: Writer |
Alice Sebold’s first published book was a memoir of her rape as an eighteen-year-old college freshman. Titled Lucky because one of the policemen told her that she was lucky to be alive–not long before Sebold’s attack, another young woman had been killed and dismembered in the same tunnel–the book was many years in the making. Sebold returned to Syracuse University, the scene of the rape, and finished her degree. She studied writing, and wanted to write her story then, but kept failing. “I wrote tons of bad poetry about it and a couple of bad novels about it–lots of bad stuff,” Sebold told Dennis McLellan of the Los Angeles Times. She explained to McLellan why the novels were not successful: “I felt the burden of trying to write a story that would encompass all rape victims’ stories and that immediately killed the idea of this individual character in the novel. So the novels tended to be kind of fuzzy and bland, and I didn’t want to make any political missteps.”
... comprises the second story and is demonstrated through the character Dee in "Everyday Use' by Alice Walker. The character of Miss Brill shows ... too real and all too human. In the story, "Everyday Use' the character Dee presents an interesting situation. Dee has found ... plausibility or how feasible a certain character is – a characteristic perfectly exemplified in the story "I'm a Fool' by ...
Sebold continued trying to write after graduation and moved to New York City, where she lived for ten years. “I worked a lot of different jobs and became a competent New Yorker, which is no small task, and went through a lot of stuff and rediscovered reading on my own and I became more honest to who I was, which matters a lot. I went out a lot. I would go to a lot of readings. I did a lot of things that I’m not particularly proud of and that I can’t believe I did,” she recalled in a talk she gave at the University of California–Irvine (UCI) as recorded by Ehzra Cue on the UCI Web Site. At that talk, Sebold presented climbing to the top of the Manhattan Bridge as an example of something she can’t believe she did; in other forums, she has also discussed the three years during which she used heroin while she was living in New York.
Lucky began to take shape in the late 1990s, when Sebold was studying fiction writing at a graduate program at UCI. A ten-page assignment sparked her to write forty pages about the rape. Although none of that writing was itself included in the final book, the experience was the impetus for Sebold to begin doing research and putting her memoir together. She read through old letters and journal entries, the transcripts of her rapist’s trial, and even returned to Syracuse and talked to the former assistant district attorney who had helped to prosecute the man, allowing her, even fifteen years after the attack, to tell the story in great detail. The result is “a remarkable personal look at a crime all too common in our out-of-whack society,” wrote Toronto Sun reviewer Yvonne Crittenden. Despite her dark subject matter, “Sebold’s wit is as powerful as her searing candor,” remarked a Publishers Weekly contributor.
The Lovely Bones
Sebold’s second book, The Lovely Bones, is similarly dark in topic. Its narrator, fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon, is raped and killed by a neighbor at the beginning of the book. She narrates the story of her death–and of her family, her friends, and herself coming to terms with it–in the first person from her omniscient seat in heaven. This is “Sebold’s most dazzling stroke,” declared a Publishers Weekly reviewer, as it “provides the warmth of a first-person narration and the freedom of an omniscient one.” That omniscience is necessary, since Susie’s tale encompasses several different stories: Susie’s mother’s search to build a new life away from the family after the murder; her father’s quest to find the real killer, into which Susie’s teenage sister Lindsay is drawn and which puts her at great risk from the same killer; and Susie’s vicarious living-out of her own teen and young adult years through Lindsay. “What might play as a sentimental melodrama in the hands of a lesser writer becomes in this volume a keenly observed portrait of familial love and how it endures and changes over time,” Michiko Kakutani declared in the New York Times. Connie Ogle in the Houston Chronicle stated: “The Lovely Bones is a disturbing story, full of horror and confusion and deep, bone-weary sadness. And yet it reflects a moving, passionate interest in and love for ordinary life at its most wonderful, most awful, even at its most mundane.” Writing in Christian Century, Stephen H. Webb admitted that The Lovely Bones has “the most powerful opening chapter of any novel I have read.”
... ). 11. Yes, I would recommend this book. If you like fantasy books, adventure and some comedy than you would ... to bring one new plague into the world every year, and to manipulate the climate of their country which ... of The Night of Wishes takes place on New Year's Eve in the Villa Nightmare, Beelzebub's ... . 2. As the story begins it is New Year's Eve and the Shadow Sorcery Minister, Beelzebub Proposteror ...
Sebold explained to Dave Weich of Powells.com that she had at first begun to write The Lovely Bones but stopped to write Lucky instead. “As weird as this sounds,” Sebold commented, “I think that after writing the first chapter of Lovely Bones, in which Susie is raped and killed, there was some urging on Susie’s part that I get my own business out of the way before writing further into her story.” Andrea Dworkin, writing in the New Statesman, believed that “The Lovely Bones is a tribute to the girl who died where Sebold was later raped.” Webb, too, saw a connection between the two books, concluding: “This pair of books–one a careful documentation of events that are all too real, the other a fanciful tale full of the miraculous and the supernatural–constitutes one of the most memorable reflections on a kind of violence that many of us would rather ignore.”
The Term Paper on An Investigation In Abelard And Heloise Can Love Life Be Compatible With Intellectual Life
... Investigation in Abelard and Heloise: Can Love life be compatible with Intellectual Life. One of the most romantic stories ... as the letters to beloved woman and a mother of his only son. If, on the ... just flatters him.The letters of Abelard are written in didactic manner. It is difficult to ... Abelard and Heloise found its revelation in the written works of lovers and Historia Calamitatum by Abelard ...
In an interview with Publishers Weekly, Sebold said that writing The Lovely Bones “was a delight, because I loved my main character so much and I liked being with her. It was like having company. I was motivated to write about violence because I believe it’s not unusual. I see it as just a part of life, and I think we get in trouble when we separate people who’ve experienced it from those who haven’t. Though it’s a horrible experience, it’s not as if violence hasn’t affected many of us.”
Name of the book | Year |
Lucky | 1999 |
The Lovely Bones | 2002 |
The Almost Moon | 2007 |
TODAY’S TOP STORIES
GIRL (14) RAPED AND MURDERED BY A MENTALLY DISTURBED CHILD MOLESTER – BODY MISSING
Words fail to Len Fenerman, the inspector responsible for that case. He says that he has never been faced with a case like that. The victim’s parents and relatives are a nervous wreck. – We’ve been to the crime scene and are going to keep you informed about that criminal case.
One week has passed since that horrible photo, which appeared in every newspaper, shocked the entire nation. Last week’s Friday at around 4 p.m., Susie S., 14 years of age, was on her way home from school, the Fairfax High School. She is likely to have taken a shortcut through the cornfield, for some of her belongings have been found there.
The cops have also found the victim’s hat and a love letter from a boy called Ray Singh. He is of Indian descent and calls himself “the moor”, after Othello. After being the prime suspect for a few days, he was finally able to exonerate himself by presenting an airtight alibi on last week’s Sunday.
Grief. The victim’s family is heartbroken. Her parents in particular can’t get over that terrible loss of their beloved daughter. It is nearly impossible to them to comprehend that the person they loved most will never come back. Jack. S., Susie’s father, suspects his neighbour, George Harvey. The police, however, are fed up with the calls of Mr. Jack S., and have stopped to investigate the substance of his remarks.
... down. There isn’t much more news at this time. Nothing much has happened. PS, I was going to send ... rained twice last week, The first time it rained for three days and the second time for four days. The coat you ...
The problem is that, up to now, S. has put forward no evidence whatsoever that Harvey is the wanted man. “He is strange in some way,” S. says,”He once mentioned two different names of his wives, that did not seem logical”. The neighbour builds dollhouses and bridal beds, which Mr. S feels to be weird. The other neighbours agree with S., pointing out Harvey weirdness and strangeness.
Since Susie’s death, the family’s life has changed. Everyone recognizes Susie in her sister Lindsey’s face. The victim’s parents have grown apart from each other and don’t live together anymore, because Susie’s mother was seen at a winery in California, far away from her family. Up to now, Susie’s mother has not been able to get her daughter’s death out of her system. She has left her family, who would always remind her of her late daughter.
Happy Ending? Up to now, there have been no clues as to Harvey’s (see photo) whereabouts. He has been able to disappear before being questioned by the police.
Whoever has observed something strange or noticed anything which could be helpful to the solution of this case is requested to inform the police under the following number: 01/23456-7890
We hope that this child molester and murderer will soon be apprehended, for if he is not, Susie will not have been his last victim. Every girl is a potential victim. So, please take care of your kids.
In tomorrow’s edition you’ll find some more information on the case.
You can also inform yourself on our web page: //www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/
Lindsey’s point of view
Pennsylvania, 20th March 2010
Hey my dear pen friend Renate!
I was really glad that you wrote back! If not immediately, but you wrote! So how are things in Austria? Is everything okay?
I promised you in my last letter that I will write you how the situation is here at home.
Well, back here everything is normal again. Things have settled and what can I wish for more than that? You know after Susie’s death everything was chaotic at home, as well as in our lives. Mom left us years ago and for that Buck won’t ever forgive her. Dad was not doing well, he was not getting over Susie’s death, me neither. But that is not the end of the world. Everybody has do die some day, don’t we? You know what happened?
... book deals with the topic of photography and the death of Barthes' mother in 1977. The role of photography is questioned; he ... and yet already deferred" (Barthes, 76). This topic of life and death in photography is what connects Barthes with Fuss and makes ... resemble Killian photographs, where one can supposedly visually capture the life force and phantom limbs of inanimate objects. The weeping women ...
Susie, my elder sister left us. Till today no one knows how exactly it came to that incident. She was a very joyful, helpful girl, a girl full of happiness. I also came to know that she was in love with one boy of Indian descent. It should be a beginning of a new love story, but it ended before it even could get started. Ray called himself “the Moor”, after Othello. He was in love with Susie. In love with my sister. Now she is dead. Ray is a cute, intelligent boy with lovely curls. I think, he even now, after 8 years after Susie’s death, thinks about her. He still has some place somewhere in his heart for Susie. His mother, I think Ruana Singh is her name, is a very nice person. I like the way she is dressed up. Her so called Indian dresses, the colorful sarees. They are very beautiful. Now Ray is a successful doctor, who makes his parents feel proud.
There was a time when mom left us, her family. It was very selfish of her. Why would a mother leave her family in the time when we needed her most? I could not understand that all my life and will never understand it. I think if you are a mother, you have responsibilities, you are not alone or a single person who can do whatever she likes: leave us when you are in the mood and come back in our lives whenever you like. No! Being a mother has rules! I always disliked my mother at the time when she was not with us, I hated her secretly so much. Why did she leave us? She should not have called herself a mother, if she did not know the meaning of being a responsible mother. My father was so lonely, he missed her a lot, and I could see it in his eyes, how desperate he was, I could feel that. It is a very terrible feeling if your life partner leaves you alone and runs far away from your life.
Well, now I am happy because the worst part hopefully is over. Mom is staying with dad and I wish that she won’t leave dad again. Because that would be mean.
I am very grateful that when we needed mom, she was not there but her mom, my granny, supported us. She is dead now, but I will always love her for her deeds, no matter wherever she is, she will always be in my heart. The time I spent with her was so wonderful; I will always remember those days. She taught me how to make-up with her special bag o’magic. People always saw Susie’s face in mine. Through Grandma Lynn I got the change I wanted, a makeover.
... amount of struggle possible. College life may be simplified having a time plan in which things should be ... and energy level. How can someone have a stress free life? Well, ... free college life. The other ideas that I mentioned earlier could assist with this like time management ... energy. Sleeping for the right amount of time always seems to help me stay refreshed and ...
And ya, Renate, my picture of that fatty Lindsey I sent you last time. Now I have totally changed! I am grown up and all the baby fat is gone. You will be surprised after seeing my latest picture. By the way my boyfriend since teenage, I mentioned him once to you, Samuel Hackler, has proposed to me for marriage, which means I am committed.
You know he was and is always a hero for me; he was there when I needed him, and he loved and supported me in my worst days.
I can even now remember his first Christmas gift. The pendant with a heart, broken into two halves.
Do not forget to come to my wedding! I will let you know the exact date.
You cannot imagine, but I am so happy that my father is feeling good. A couple of weeks ago he has had a heart attack which shocked me very much, because after losing a sister I do not wanted to lose someone close again.
But now his health is improving after the attack.
You know when I was younger, eight years ago, there was a detective, he called himself Len or something like that, cannot remember his second name. He was investigating Susie’s case. You know earlier, when he came to our home to tell how things were concerning his case, my mum always was on his side. Actually that’s how it began:
My father suspected our neighbour Mr. Harvey. Len said that Harvey was okay, there was nothing wrong with this man. And my mom, instead of supporting my dad, supported the detective, a stranger. My dad was really hurt, of course. And I had a suspect but never mentioned it loudly because it could have made things worse as they already were. I suspected that my mother had an affair with the cop. I do not know but it always seemed to me when he was at our house that there was something in the air, something going on between my mother and Len. God knows what the truth was. I won’t mention this now, because I don’t want to be the reason for my parents to separate again. So leave it as it is.
Who suffered most under my mom’s absence was my brother Buck. His schooldays, his growing up in puberty certainly was a time when a kid needed his parents most. He just missed and needed her. But for some reason in the meantime he had learned to hate his mother for a very long time. But recently he is ready to accept what has happened in the past and to let go.
Renate, so much has happened in my life that I have to write a whole book to tell you everything in detail.
You know at that time, dad, as I’ve mentioned before, had suspected our neighbour, Mr. Harvey. He is a weird man who built dollhouses and bridal tents. Strange, na? Once I broke into his house and found a sketch which was a very important evidence against him. After telling the police, he had been able to disappear before having been questioned by the cops. Maybe he had killed my sister. I don’t know but nobody knows about his whereabouts or what happened to him. I have no idea. Probably he was run down by a car, or fell off a cliff or mountain or he died in dignity. Whatever!! Who cares what happened to that bastard?
So Renate, I hope you are not going to be emotional after reading my letter. I know the story is touching but it is true! So don’t lose your heart!
At the end of the day I want to say just one thing: We live once, we die once. Enjoy life because it is too precious to waste it. Life is too short. Something sad and bad might happen and CRASH! It takes life only a few seconds to change. And then nothing will be so as it once was. But one thing is certain:
Deaths come and go. That does not mean life stops! No! Life goes on! You have to be strong!
Life is very beautiful. I wish Susie, Grandma Lynn, Grandpa and our dog Holiday a good time in heaven.
Take care Renate
Write soon! Miss me!
By foreshadowing I understand some clues given to the reader, so he gets to know what might occur later in the story. Some hints, which make the reader, think about the forthcoming scenes and what could happen next. In the book for example it could be Susie’s possession to love Ray, to live with him and to have a physical relation with him. This prepares us for the love scene at the end of the novel. Another example is when Susie gets suddenly known to all the victims of her murderer which prepares us for them appearing in heaven. One last not least important example of foreshadowing I would like to mention is the story which tells us about Mr. Harvey being very old-fashioned and using eggshells and coffee grounds as fertilizers for his garden. Mr. Harvey’s garden smells badly but no one makes the effort to ask or investigate why because he has made it known what fertilizers he uses.
I Irony is a literary technique connected with unintended truth. An interesting example in the book is when Mr. Harvey brings Susie’s dead body to Mrs. Flanagan, who, along with her husband, makes her living by charging people to throw things in the sinkhole. Because the bag Mr. Harvey brings, is so heavy Mrs. Flanagan jokes, “What you got in there, a dead body?” So I would call that irony, Mrs. Flanagan observing the metal safe, Mr. Harvey brings to the sinkhole, is heavy enough to hold a dead body.
I think rape is a very important theme in the book, if not then at least the main character was a rape victim, which is also the cause of Susie’s death. It is an important aspect because if the main character Susie Salmon had not been raped the story would not go on like when she was raped.
Grief accompanies family Salmon throughout the novel since Susi is missing. The first stage of grief: shock and denial. We come to know the first stage in the book, when the family says and talks about what could have happened to Susie. Then they say, “Nothing is ever certain.” That is the first step of the grieving process. The reality of Susie’s death has not really hit home yet. The family is stunned and bewildered.
The second stage of grief is anger. That occurs in the novel when Detective Fenerman brings home Susie’s hat which was found in the corn field. He also tells the family about the elbow they found. That is when they enter the second stage of grief. Abigail enters the second stage a bit later when she focuses on Clarissa for being alive while Susie is not.
Bargaining and depression are a very long process. Abigail leaves the family, leaves everything behind and tries to start a new life in California. Jack, Susie’s father always misses and thinks constantly about his loss.
The stage of acceptance comes after eight years. When Mr. and Mrs. Salmon say, “She’s never coming home.” And then they begin to start a new life living it happily.
Heaven plays a very important role in the novel. It is Susie’s place after her death. Susie narrates and tells us everything from there, from her personal heaven and she describes it. So the heaven takes the biggest part in the book. It is the place where Susie goes after being raped and murdered.
Death is a keyword because it is related to Susie, because she is the victim and she is dead. Other persons who die in the book are Holiday, Susie’s dog and Grandma Lynn at the end of the book.
Grandma Lynn’s point of view
I have lived my life and lived it my way. So the time to leave Abigail, her family and the world had to come one day, which is the case now, because I am dead. I loved and enjoyed my living very much. I did not think about tomorrow or what will happen next. I just enjoyed every moment of life. I achieved everything I wanted to and fulfilled my wishes. My last wish, seeing Abigail and Jack happily together, became also true. I thank God for that.
After I died I came to a heaven. It is really different from earth and you don’t feel like you have died on earth. You have almost everything what you want and like. My heaven smells like my perfume I used on earth, Chanel No. 5. I can also see what my nearest ones on earth are doing. I came to know that my grandchildren married and Lindsey surprisingly found out that she was pregnant. How sweet. She was very fast. Naughty girl. If I lived a bit longer, I could have seen the baby girl or baby boy. And that child would be my great-grandchild. How touching. I am pretty sure that Abigail and Jack will be supporting, caring and lovely grandparents.
I hope I will see Susie somewhere here. Then I would finally get to know why and how she left us and if the found elbow belonged to her. Maybe she knows what I am talking about. But I will see everything and get to know everything from A to Z. I am looking forward to meeting everyone whom I so missed when they left me on earth. So therefore I wish you all a long and happy life.