10-17-2007 03:38 PM
The Lovely Bones
Shockingly original and completely unforgettable, The Lovely Bones is the story of a family devastated by a gruesome murder -- a murder recounted by the teenage victim. Remarkably, first-time novelist Alice Sebold takes this difficult material and delivers a compelling and accomplished exploration of a fractured family's need for peace and closure. The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confronted by the murderer one December afternoon on her way home from school. Lured into an underground hiding place, she was raped and killed. But what the reader knows, her family does not. Anxiously, we keep vigil with Susie, aching for her grieving family, desperate for the killer to be found and punished.
At the age of eighteen, Alice Sebold was raped. In the days just following, she made herself a promise, the promise that one day she would write a book about her experience. And now, on the other side of heroin addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a decade and a half of recovery, that book has arrived: a starkly honest, grippingly detailed narrative of violence and healing, suffused with poignancy, pain, and a natural wit. It's a dramatic, moving story shedding light on a subject too often shrouded in darkness.
Additional Recommended Reading
When Madeline Was Young
When Aaron Maciver’s beautiful young wife, Madeline, suffers a head injury in a bicycle crash, she is left with the mental capabilities of a six-year-old. In the years that follow, Aaron and his second wife care for Madeline with deep tenderness and devotion as they raise two children of their own. Inspired in part by Elizabeth Spencer’s Light in the Piazza, Jane Hamilton offers an honest and exquisite portrait of how a family tragedy forever shapes the boundaries of love.
The Edge of Winter
Neve Halloran and her daughter have shared a fierce love for the austere beauty of Rhode Island's South County ever since Mickey was a baby. Now, with Mickey a teenager and Neve's last hope for happiness with her daughter's loving but unstable father gone, both will struggle to make a new life together amid the windswept landscape that sustains them. Captivated by a fragile wildlife sanctuary, Mickey will move toward womanhood in the company of a lonely boy who shares her instinctive way with the creatures of the coast. And Neve will find herself drawn to a man who has devoted his life to the sanctuary, but who is unable to share the pain of a recent loss.
The Light of Evening
Brimming with the lyricism and earthy insight that are the hallmarks of Edna O'Brien's acclaimed fiction, The Light of Evening is a novel of dreams and attachments, lamentations and betrayals. At its core is the realization that the bond between mother and child is unbreakable, stronger even than death. From her hospital bed in Dublin, the ailing Dilly Macready eagerly awaits a visit from her long-estranged daughter, Eleanora. Eleanora's visit to her mother's sickbed does not prove to be the glad reunion that Dilly prayed for. And in her hasty departure, Eleanora leaves behind a secret journal of their stormy relationship -- a revelation that brings the novel to a shocking close. The Light of Evening is a contemporary story with universal resonance. In this beautiful and moving new novel, Edna O'Brien delves deep into the intense relationship that exists between a mother and daughter who long for closeness yet remain eternally at odds.
Alice McDermott’s powerful novel is a vivid portrait of an American family in the middle decades of the twentieth century. Witty, compassionate, and wry, it captures the social, political, and spiritual upheavals of those decades through the experiences of a middle-class couple, their four children, and the changing worlds in which they live. While Michael and Annie taste the alternately intoxicating and bitter first fruits of the sexual revolution, their older, more tentative brother, Jacob, lags behind, until he finds himself on the way to Vietnam. Clare, the youngest child, seeks to maintain an almost saintly innocence. After This, alive with the passions and tragedies of a determining era in our history, portrays the clash of traditional, faith-bound life and modern freedom, while also capturing the joy, sorrow, anger, and love that underpin, and undermine, what it is to be a family.