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The Lovely Bones-BC Discussion #1


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#11 ACDCDCAC

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 09:06 AM

I am so excited for you! Can't wait to hear all about it :)

OK: Back to topic!

#12 jujigirl

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    Posted 24 March 2008 - 09:59 AM

    Ah sorry girls!! I just now saw this thread!! Sorry about the late discussion questions posting. Here are 16 questions from a "Book Club Discussion" website. I think they are all really good BUT, first...

    * Lets just give opinions of the book...good and bad! How did you feel when reading it, what were your favorite/least favorite parts? *

    1.) In Susie's Heaven, she is surrounded by things that bring her peace. What would your Heaven be like? Is it surprising that in Susie's inward, personal version of the hereafter there is no God or larger being that presides?


    2.) Why does Ruth become Susie's main connection to Earth? Was it accidental that Susie touched Ruth on her way up to Heaven, or was Ruth actually chosen to be Susie's emotional conduit?


    3.) Rape is one of the most alienating experiences imaginable. Susie's rape ends in murder and changes her family and friends forever. Alienation is transferred, in a sense, to Susie's parents and siblings. How do they each experience loneliness and solitude after Susie's death?


    4.) Why does the author include details about Mr. Harvey's childhood and his memories of his mother? By giving him a human side, does Sebold get us closer to understanding his motivation? Sebold explained in an interview about the novel that murderers "are not animals but men," and that is what makes them so frightening. Do you agree?


    5.) Discuss the way in which guilt manifests itself in the various characters - Jack, Abigail, Lindsay, Mr. Harvey, Len Fenerman.


    6.) "Pushing on the inbetween" is how Susie describes her efforts to connect with those she has left behind on Earth. Have you ever felt as though someone was trying to communicate with you from "the inbetween"?


    7.) Does Buckley really see Susie, or does he make up a version of his sister as a way of understanding, and not being too emotionally damaged by, her death? How do you explain tragedy to a child? Do you think Susie's parents do a good job of helping Buckley comprehend the loss of his sister?


    8.) Susie is killed just as she was beginning to see her mother and father as real people, not just as parents. Watching her parents' relationship change in the wake of her death, she begins to understand how they react to the world and to each other. How does this newfound understanding affect Susie?


    9.) Can Abigail's choice to leave her family be justified?


    10.) Why does Abigail leave her dead daughter's photo outside the Chicago Airport on her way back to her family?


    11.) Susie observes that "The living deserve attention, too." She watches her sister, Lindsay, being neglected as those around her focus all their attention on grieving for Susie. Jack refuses to allow Buckley to use Susie's clothes in his garden. When is it time to let go?


    12.) Susie's Heaven seems to have different stages, and climbing to the next stage of Heaven requires her to remove herself from what happens on Earth. What is this process like for Susie?


    13.) In The Lovely Bones, adult relationships (Abigail and Jack, Ray's parents) are dysfunctional and troubled, whereas the young relationships (Lindsay and Samuel, Ray and Susie, Ray and Ruth) all seem to have depth, maturity, and potential. What is the author saying about young love? About the trials and tribulations of married life?


    14.) Is Jack Salmon allowing himself to be swallowed up by his grief? Is there a point where he should have let go? How does his grief process affect his family? Is there something admirable about holding on so tightly to Susie's memory and not denying his profound sadness?


    15.) Ray and Susie's final physical experience (via Ruth's body) seems to act almost as an exorcism that sweeps away, if only temporarily, Susie's memory of her rape. What is the significance of this act for Susie, and does it serve to counterbalance the violent act that ended Susie's life?


    16.) Alice Sebold seems to be saying that out of tragedy comes healing. Susie's family fractures and comes back together, a town learns to find strength in each other. Do you agree that good can come of great trauma?

    #13 -Kate-

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      Posted 24 March 2008 - 10:06 AM

      I can't wait to get home tonight so I can discuss these questions!

      #14 amandalovesryan

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        Posted 24 March 2008 - 10:13 AM

        i am submitting the same book, i guess.
        My favorite type of vacation, a relaxing one!

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        #15 ACDCDCAC

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        Posted 24 March 2008 - 10:16 AM

        Wow! All good QQ, I'll just start with my general opinions on the book, and then follow along with everyone from there :)

        I read this book a year or so ago, and then again when we started for the club. I found it funny that both times I was surprised by the twists, you would think I would have remembered and saw them coming! A lot of people who saw me reading this book commented how they couldn't get into it because of the angle coming from Susie's , uh, "alternate afterlife". This didn't bother me, but I see how it might be troubling to some. I actually liked how we get to see things from her perspective throughout.

        Anyways, I wouldn't say I "enjoyed" reading this book, because the subject is sad and troubling, but it was interesting to read and kept my attention. I don't think it was really a page-turner, per say, but I liked reading it and was glad of the way it turned out. My favorite part was how Mr. Harvey got his in the end. I like how it seemed that Susie got to have a hand in his demise :)

        #16 Yari

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          Posted 24 March 2008 - 12:02 PM

          I really did like the book. The beginning was so shocking and distrubing I stunned the she was murder. It was so surreal how she recounts how she was murdered.

          I found it interesting when she was in heaven and how she looked down on Earth. I also was intrigued with how at the end she finally let Earth go.

          #17 sn2bski

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            Posted 24 March 2008 - 05:44 PM

            Overall I really enjoyed the book. I enjoyed Susie's view point from Heaven. Its nice to imagine that someone could be so connected with their family on Earth after death. My favorite part was definently when Mr. Harvey finally got what he deserved. I also liked the part when Susie came back through Ruth and got to be with Ray again. I didn't like that Susie's mother had an affair with Len and that she left her family for all those years I glad for the happy ending when her family accepted her back into their lives. Also I loved Grandma Lynn-she seems like she'd be a fun grandma!

            #18 starchild

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              Posted 24 March 2008 - 05:56 PM

              I thought it was a good read. The subject is morbid and depressing, but it is engaging enough & full of twists to see it through to the end. I read it awhile ago then again for this, and I looked at the marriage thing differently this time for some reason. I can't say I would have run out on my family, but I can imagine the level of stress the murder of your child can put on a marriage.

              And yes, I loved grandma too!

              #19 ACDCDCAC

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              Posted 24 March 2008 - 05:59 PM

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by starchild
              I thought it was a good read. The subject is morbid and depressing, but it is engaging enough & full of twists to see it through to the end. I read it awhile ago then again for this, and I looked at the marriage thing differently this time for some reason. I can't say I would have run out on my family, but I can imagine the level of stress the murder of your child can put on a marriage.

              And yes, I loved grandma too!
              Jamy, I agree about the marriage part. I, too, felt differently this time around. The first read I thought why would that happen? Wouldn't you lean on eachother and care for eachother? But the second read I realized that it shows how everyone is different and we would all react in ways we wouldn't expect.

              And Grandma Lynn was a riot! She reminded me a little bit of my spit-fire Grama :) Doing what she wants and not caring if it's exactly the way it "should" be done.

              #20 ACDCDCAC

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              Posted 24 March 2008 - 06:01 PM

              BTW--Cali, I want to change my book suggestion for next time. I had 2nd thoughts about my old book and I think it might be too dull. I'll email you my new suggestion.




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