How do you describe in words a violation done against you that rips your soul from your body? How do you put yourself back together after your heart, body, and spirit have been ravaged? The answer - you don't. Susie Salmon is caught in between heaven and earth, and from there she shares with us her story. A story of how she was raped, murdered, and never to be found again. But more than just a story of brutal violence, The Lovely Bones is a story about letting go, of grief, of loss, and ultimately of the people we leave behind. The first chapter into the book, I knew this wasn't like any other story I have read. My stomach churned as the author describes how and where Susie is abducted and eventually murdered. She holds nothing back in the description and imagery so that you as the reader are left reeling in horror at the inhumanity and sheer evil that emanates from one single person. If the central focus of the story is to put a face on what evil looks like, I would have been left feeling hollow and scarred. But Alice Sebold goes on to weave a story from Susie's perspective about love and how that love keeps us anchored to earth. She paints a story about how a family is left to deal with the pieces and memories of a daughter who was torn away, and in the end understanding that however final death may feel, a part of her will always be found their everyday moments. I spent the first half of the book wandering and hoping that this guy, this monster would be found, caught and locked up until the end of his days, but by the end of the book, it was no longer about him, but about Susie and her relationship and love for the family she left behind. The journey of brokenness and healing in the end was front stage rather than the fate of the perpetrator. I will probably never read The Lovely Bones again, not for the lack of it being a good book, but rather the first time around is enough to haunt me forever.