The Lovely Bones is a 2002 novel by Alice Sebold. It is the story of a teenage girl who, after being murdered, watches from heaven as her family and friends go on with their lives, while she herself comes to terms with her own death. The novel received a great deal of critical praise and became an instant bestseller. A film adaptation of the novel, directed by Peter Jackson who personally purchased the rights, was released in American theatres on January 15, 2010.
On her way home from school on a snowy December day in 1973, 14-year-old Susie Salmon ("like the fish") is lured into a makeshift underground den in a cornfield and brutally raped and murdered, the latest victim of a serial killer--the man she knew as her neighbor, Mr. Harvey.
Alice Sebold's haunting and heartbreaking debut novel, The Lovely Bones, unfolds from heaven, where "life is a perpetual yesterday" and where Susie narrates and keeps watch over her grieving family and friends, as well as her brazen killer and the sad detective working on her case. As Sebold fashions it, everyone has his or her own version of heaven. Susie's resembles the athletic fields and landscape of a suburban high school: a heaven of her "simplest dreams," where "there were no teachers.... We never had to go inside except for art class.... The boys did not pinch our backsides or tell us we smelled; our textbooks were Seventeen and Glamour and Vogue."
The Lovely Bones works as an odd yet ...