Genre: General Fiction
Publisher, Year: Little Brown, 2002
Other Works: Lucky
Flags: Adult themes, tenuous references
Rating: A+, or Must Read Now!
Challenge: Countdown, Library
Premise: A young girl is murdered. She narrates the story, looking down from heaven on her family and friends as they cope with her loss.
I’ve been meaning to read this book for some time now, but I’ve been almost scared to pick it up, given the premise. I was afraid it would disturb me, in a Law and Order SVU–sort of way. Really, you can’t broach the subjects of rape and murder without disturbance, but I was impressed with Sebold’s take. She definitely pushed the envelope, but in a way that made life just that much more meaningful and precious. I still can’t stop thinking about it.
The book starts out with an introduction: “My name is Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.” A sinking feeling of dread follows this proclamation, as we know when Mr. Harvey approaches Susie and asks her to follow him that she won’t be coming back. But, she knows it, too. As she relates the story, she tells us, in hindsight, what she should of done and how she should have acted, if only she’d known. It’s heartrending, it really is. And there’s nothing to be done to change it. Unfortunately, it won’t be the last time, as the reader, that you’ll feel the burn of regret. +/-