The Lovely Bones
By Alice Sebold
This surprise bestseller is Sebold's first work of fiction. Susie Salmon, the novel's 14-year-old narrator, is raped and killed, yet her spirit lives on to tell the story, recounting the murder and its aftermath from heaven. Her Indian boyfriend, Ray Singh, is initially accused of the killing by the police. Her grieving mother engages in an affair and runs off to California, while her father tries to find the man responsible for the crime. Susie narrates the scenes of life after her death, as well as memories of her time on earth, with detachment and humor. Watching her emotionally damaged family from on high, she has one real wishto somehow help them heal. Sebold has written a brave narrative about the human capacity to transcend tragedy, about the waysfor better and worselife goes on after loss. A reading group guide is available at www.twbookmark.com.