Originally Published: July 3, 2002
By: Alice Sebold
In her stunning, although slow debut novel, Alice Sebold is able to grasp the emotions of a traumatized teenage girl and how her family deals with their pain. It’s hard-hitting and shows how although wounds don’t fully heal over time, you’re able to live with the pain.
At 14-years-old, Susie Salmon is raped and murdered by her neighbor Mr. Harvey. Now in Heaven, she watches over her family as they try make sense of her disappearance. Meanwhile, Mr. Harvey is haunted by his past and tries to avoid being captured.
The material can be triggering for those who have suffered sexual abuse or lost someone at the hands of sexual assault. The parts of Susie in Heaven lag and take away from what is happening with her family on Earth.
Final say: A tough read but satisfying overall. ★★★☆☆