026 - The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones, a book about a 14 year old girl who is raped and murdered and her family’s (and loved ones’) inability to continue living without her. This is a rather odd story that is very melancholic. The girl is in her “heaven” watching her family and longing to be back with them. With this image of heaven, it would explain why her presence there was so lonely and her parents’ inability to move on without her.

The killer was weaved in and out of the story but never caught, leaving him free to continue killing. At one point, the book seemed to imply he was interested in the dead girls’ sister but that thread in the plot dropped off immediately after it was introduced. I felt the father was admirable in his pursuit of the killer. Although, it was sad that he didn’t have a belief in God and heaven so that he could find peace with his daughter’s death.

The dead girl’s mother has an affair with the police lieutenant and then moves to California but the book didn’t seem to make a clear reason for this. In the beginning, it seemed to be due to reasons that had nothing to do with the girls’ death but later it hints that her reasons were due to the death or the reaction of the father to the death. It was very unclear. At the end, the dead girl’s ghost comes back and while in her friend’s body was able to have sex with the boyfriend she had at the time of her death. Apparently, neither she nor the boyfriend were able to move on with their “lives” until this happened. It is hard to imagine that a 14 year old boy could not move on to another love in the course of 8 or 9 years in which this story took place. And earlier in the story, her sister has extramarital sex at the age of 14 but grows up to live happily ever after with this boyfriend. This romanticizes extramarital sex and gives unrealistic notions to any young reader. The author uses sex to solve everyone’s problems or maybe she intended for it to just cure everyone’s loneliness. From a Christian view, the author’s use of sex was shallow and definitely not the answers to seek during the times of losing a loved one(s).

This book was at one time a “#1 bestseller” and is described as “succeeds, miraculously, in building a tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy.” I don’t see that. Overall, I was disappointed with the weak plot, disappointing ending, and lack of Christian values.

Submitted by - K. Wynn

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