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Here is a novel that has practically become a classic, and is being turned into a movie that apparently will come out next year. I have to admit, it is sort of a disturbing story, because it is told from the point of view of a child who is dead.

The main character, fourteen-year-old Susie, is lured into a secret “clubhouse” by a neighbor, who then rapes and murders her. From her place in Heaven, Susie watches her family and friends continue their lives, while they try to figure out what happened to her. At first, of course, her family holds onto hope that Susie is just lost, that she is alive somewhere, and that she will return safely to them. But of course Susie is not safe, and as her family comes to terms with it, Susie watches them fall apart.

The strangest thing I found about this book is the description of Heaven. When I think of Heaven, I think of it as a joyful place where a person is instantly reunited with his departed loved ones, begins to understand why everything in his life happened the way it did, and finds true joy. I imagine that, although people in Heaven spend time watching over those they left behind on Earth, the sense of time is different in Heaven, and so before long everyone is together.

But in this story, Heaven seems to be a sort of sad and lonely place. Each person’s Heaven is different, made up of the things that brought you happiness and peace during your life on Earth, and the only way two people meet is if their own two versions of Heaven intersect. Susie has a swing set in Heaven, she meets a few friends, and because she loves dogs she is surrounded by dogs of all shapes and sizes. But she is still sad in Heaven. She watches her family, and she misses them. To me the happiest moment in the story was when her own beloved dog passes away, and Susie wonders if he will remember her after all that time. Of course he does remember her, and nearly knocks her down in his joy to see her! Probably an insignificant scene to most readers, but for a dog lover like me, it brought tears streaming down my cheeks!

I won’t summarize the whole plot of this story, because I want you to read it for yourself and let me know what you think! Overall, I found The Lovely Bones to be a haunting, and sad, and beautiful story. I can’t wait to see the film version!

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