Thursday, January 15, 2009
Thursday Book Report
When I read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, I was so moved and enthralled about a book told from the point of view of a dead little girl. I loved that it was set in the Philly suburbs and I loved the characters, how richly they were developed. Even though the subject matter dealt with violent and scary situations, I still felt like the book was akin to a dense piece of chocolate cake - so good, I wanted to savor every moment. I received this book for Christmas (thanks, Mom!) and I literally could not put it down. Lucky is a memoir of Sebold's own rape her freshman year at Syracuse University. I must admit, this book is not what I would term an "easy" read. The book opens with violence and ends almost sadly, with this woman being forever altered from events that she had no control over. It was hard to read about her violent rape and the alienation perhaps most victims feel. She describes events in her life in an almost poetic manner. And quite like a train wreck, it's hard to look away. I have never (knock wood) experienced violence or crime like she has and I hope I never will. She writes in an almost detached manner, very journalistic to describe the rape. I would imagine that's the only way you can describe it since allowing emotions to enter into the act would somehow cloud it. Sebold clearly has a strength that most other characters in her book do not, and I admire her for it. However, she is not writing for sympathy or for people to identify with her. She is writing from her heart about events she had little to no control over. And the story is not summed up in the end in a miraculous ending that erases the rape from her mind. She will always be a rape victim. After struggling to put everything behind her, she realizes, years later, that she is still affected by the rape and it will always be a part of her. This book is a miraculous story told by a brave and open woman. I am so grateful to have experienced this memoir; it has put a clarity in my head on how different experiences can shape our lives. But they don't have to rule them.