When The Lovely Bones first hit the shelves in 2002, it became a bestseller and received critical acclaim for its mixing of genres in combination with young-adult fiction to create a beautiful story of loss, grief, and moving on. Twenty years later, Bookstr looks back on the impact of Alice Sebold’s bestselling novel, including its multiple adaptations and fan reception today!
What is “The Lovely Bones”?
The Lovely Bones is, to be honest, not for the faint of heart. The story revolves around a young girl, Susie, who gets raped and murdered by a neighbor, and subsequently watches her family from Heaven as she comes to terms with her own death. Meanwhile, she also observes her family’s struggling process to move on with their lives and coping with her death. There are definitely strong fantasy elements here, combined with thriller to create a narrative that is suspenseful but emotionally touching for Sebold’s audience!
New York Times’ Bestseller and Critical Acclaim!
As covered, The Lovely Bones received plenty of praise from readers and critics for the novel’s wonderful blending of genres, and inclusion of fantasy elements to depict a family’s struggle with grief, loss, and eventual moving on. Although dark, and albeit a tearjerker, the novel is recognized for its characterization of innocence and its loss as we all grow up.
“The Lovely Bones” Movie… And Play???
With the success of The Lovely Bones, it’s no wonder that the novel had its own adaptations. Many of you may be aware of the film, Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones” that released in 2009, starring Mark Wahlberg and young Saoirse Ronan that introduced many young viewers to the book’s suspenseful and moving themes. However, the novel also received another adaptation that less may be aware of unless you’re a theatre fan! Alice Sebold’s bestselling novel made its way onto the stage in 2018, taking after many of the film’s costumes and depictions!