The Lovely Bones [Alice Sebold]

Penulis/Author: Alice Sebold (2002)
Penerbit/Publisher: Picador
Cetakan/Edition: 42, 2003
Kategori/Category: Contemporary Fiction
ISBN: 0-330-48538-5

My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973 (page 5). I knew he was going to kill me. I did not realize then that I was an animal already dying (page 14). He took the hat from my mouth. “Tell me you love me,” he said. Gently, I did. The end came anyway (page 15).

Susie’s death was a tragedy not only for the family, but also to her friends and teachers. Basically the whole community was affected because such thing didn’t happen at that time. Susie was murdered by a man from the same neighbourhood where her family lived in. He was a serial women killer who moved from one city to another but never had the chance to be captured. It was difficult for her family to cope with the tragedy, especially beacuse her body was never found. They knew she was dead because they found part of her body, her elbow, being carried by a dog.

From her heaven, Susie sees her family and friends coped with her murder. Things had changed inside the family. Her father never lose hope to find the murderer while her mother chose to harden her heart and left the family. Susie’s sister, Lindsey, on her own difficulties being the sister of a murdered girl stood still and grew up to be a reliable and wonderful young woman, while her brother, Buckley, who was only 2 at the time when the tragedy occured grew up with the memory of a protective sister. Their Grandmother also came to the house and be with them to shower the love and attention they needed.

Outside the house, the murderer was roaming around waiting for his next prey(s). Ray Singh, the boy whom Susie cared for, was suspected for the murder, but he got an aliby. Ruth, a girl who went to the same school with Susie believed she saw Susie when she was dying and flying to sky. Ruth became best friend to Ray and they comforted each other.

Lovely bones is a story about family and love, about letting go and never lose hope, not only for those who were left behind but also for Susie who observed them from her heaven above. I feel uneasy reading a murder story where the victim herself is the narrator. It’s akward and sad. She explained how she died, her last wishes, her pain, her fear, her mind wondered, how she could hear her mother was calling her for dinner… she saw the dog found her elbow and she saw how close they were to the place where she had been buried yet she was never found and she couldn’t help them to point the place. From time to time she visited her family and friends to be closer to them but she couldn’t join them. But deep inside their hearts, she knew that she was never forgotten.

PS: Thanks to Hani for lending me the book. Sorry it took ages to return it mate :)


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