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Recent Reading: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - Mo's Journal
July 28th, 2008
10:53 am

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Recent Reading: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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From:thelastgoodname
Date:July 28th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
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How interesting -- when I read it, it never occurred to me that 14-year-olds would find it a good read, or even that they'd ever come across it. (A tear-jerker, yeah, but for eighth graders? Not so much.) I wasn't 14 when I read it, and I'm not a parent, so I have no idea what either of your reactions were like, but I agree about the real emotions of real people reading experience. My experience reading was from the position of a child whose family never fell apart but was certainly never going to be functional and the difficulty of coming to terms with the fact that you can't save the people you love. That we've all gotten such different things from the book -- things that I think are all there to be found -- leads me to think that Sebold has done something rather extraordinary with this book.

The literary device I read as an interesting experiment in a narrator who doesn't change observing a world that does change -- it's very different from a narrator who is herself changed by the events of a story. The resonance with people who are themselves feeling like their change is never going to happen -- well, I guess I'm lacking imagination. Or contact with 14-year-olds.
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From:mofic
Date:July 28th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
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How interesting -- when I read it, it never occurred to me that 14-year-olds would find it a good read, or even that they'd ever come across it.

That's funny - I don't think I ever would have heard of the book if not for having a kid in middle school. It is a *very* popular book with adolescents. There are a number of books like that - ones that weren't written as "YA" books particularly but are hugely popular with the 12-17 set. Another one is Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper (which I also read at Zara's recommendation).

That we've all gotten such different things from the book -- things that I think are all there to be found -- leads me to think that Sebold has done something rather extraordinary with this book.

Yes, I agree.
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