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No Bones To Pick

On Monday I began reading The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Today, Wednesday, I cried in my car on the way in to work. I am not experiencing PMS and I am not insane, I’m just moved by what I am reading—displaced actually.The book is narrated by a girl from heaven, who was raped by her neighbor, cut up into pieces and then watches from above as her body parts were dumped into a sink hole. Susie Salmon, dead at age 14, looks on as her family struggles through the loss and tries to solve the case of their daughter’s murder.

This morning I had just finished a section where Susie’s father had to explain to her four year-old brother why he hadn’t seen his sister in weeks, and why he wouldn’t be seeing her again. The father had the little boy in his lap on Christmas day and he explained the situation with Monopoly™ pieces.

“Do you see this shoe?” he asked as he showed the little boy the game piece. He continued, saying that Susie had always picked the shoe, the younger sister picked the iron, the mother picked the canon, and he, the father, picked the car. “Susie was the shoe.” Of course, Sebold’s version of this exchange is better. In your mind’s eye you see the little child grab the Yorkie dog piece and claim it as his own. Then you see the father place the shoe in the child’s hand and hear him say, “Susie is dead. Do you know what that means?”The little boy covers the shoe with the palm of his hands, and the father says, “That’s right.”

On my way to work I revisited the scene I had just read and could not help but let the tears trickle down. My make-up looks like crap now, but oh well. I have been pretty lucky with my choice of novel lately, and I’m grateful for that. The Lovely Bones is being adapted into a movie directed by Peter Jackson and starring Ryan Gosling, Susan Sarandon, Rachel Weisz, Stanley Tucci, and Saoirse Ronan. I’m excited, and I am also excited to interview Alice Sebold early next week. I think I might ask her what piece she always picks in Monopoly™.

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One Response

  1. Rachel Weisz is perfect casting but Ryan Gosling is miscast and he’s going to hurt the film.

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