Friday, September 3, 2010

Fabbo Friday and Fab Book, Ghosts and Lovely Bones

My bookclub The Magic Hat recently chose The Lovely Bones by Aliice Sebold
, which I'd been meaning to read for years. I found it very gruelling and distressing, which really surprised me. I've written quite a lot of dark crime over the years and researched from a lot of true crime and profiler books and I'm the sort of person who always looks for the predator whenever I'm out and about. The more you research the darkness that lurks, the more you know to be wary. Look for the exit. Lock the doors. Watch for the person wearing the wolf's fur on the inside.
Some of the Magic Hatters found it uplifting, but I felt emotionally flattened by it. Susie Salmon, the young protagonist, is killed in the beginning of the book by one of the most sinister predators I've read for awhile - her neighbour, Mr Harvey. This book has superb opening and closing lines. Susie then narrates her struggle in heaven as she watches her loved ones deal with their grief in different ways. It's beautifully written but terribly sad. I'm not a person who copes with endings and transitions very well. My mother sobs over total strangers saying goodbye to each other at the airport, so I'm genetically wired to not cope with any sort of adieu. I'm still weeping over my dog's death in March. And it's family legend how I'd cry and weep as a child over the old show Lassie, because Lassie looked so noble, his fur blowing backwards as Greensleeves played and we had to farewell him for another week. Heady emotional stuff.
The title The Lovely Bones is wonderful and the idea of the family unit being The Lovely Bones who holds the connections of the departed dead in place and continue to grow is luminous. Just not the easiest read. And I do have a problem with the plot development towards the end, when the girl's friend does what she does so Suzie can do what she does... (no spoilers, but if you've read it, then you'll know what I mean). Such a jarring, silly segment. But hats off to Alice Sebold for such a strong, poetic, moving novel which reminds us that for growth, the dead also have to release the living as well as the opposite way around.
Speaking of the dead, one of my very favourite Blog crushes is Art and Ghosts. I do love this girl's art which reminds me of the work of some of my favourite artists, Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington. She also looks like Mo Hayder's younger sister and her entire Blog is lovely. Her whimsical short video grabs where she talks to friends are gorgeous. Her cat has eyes bigger than the moon and her world is whimsical, clever, floral - but sprinkled with shiny darkness.
Leading us into the weekend is a ghostly looking Johnny Depp. I suppose ghosts are the perennial outsiders and so here's Johnny as Edward Scissorhands.
Hats off to outsiders, ghosts and Lovely Bones.
Have a lovely weekend. I hope it is filled with family, health and friendly ghosts. Thanks for visiting me.
all images from art and ghosts source
alice sebold image source
johnny depp image source


  1. Despite the subject matter, I find The lovely bones to be one of my favourite books (reading her memoir Lucky was even more painful actually).

    Thank you for sharing your blog crush, now I have something new to feast my eyes on:)


  2. I really enjoyed The Lovely really moved me and I found myself crying a lot when I read it. Alice Sebold's book Lucky is also worth a read - but it is a true account of what happened to her and it is very harrowing and worrying...really makes you think. I like the sound of that blog...will be over there in a flash...even the title just got me thinking and feeling inspired! :)xxx

  3. I haven't read the book but saw the movie...I found it quite disturbing. I think it was how everyone seemed so disconnected yet so close. I'll have to read the book for the differences. I found the ending a little challenging.
    Beautiful pictures on Art and Ghosts!! I'll have to visit again for a more thorough read.
    Wonderful post. Hope you have a great weekend too:) xo

  4. Yes, wonderful post, TP. Thank you! I am ashamed to say that i didn't persevere with Lovely Bones, the opening scene was just too awful. My reading group frowned upon me, but I simply sat on my hands...and looked guilty. Art and Ghosts is 'heavenly'. Weekend salutations! jx

  5. HI Josephine, Lovely Bones sounds interesting but I don't think I could bare the heartache. Carla x

  6. The lovely bones was one of our very first book club books.
    I've read it twice. First time I found it disturbing, second time I saw more than just the subject matter.

  7. i've avoided the lovely bones as i just can't handle difficult stuff anymore. your crying at lassie reminds me of how i always cried at the end of similarly doggy 'the littlest hobo'! i even cried at the old telecom ads when newly arrived immigrants would phone their relatives in the old country, and 'the way we were' played! jx

  8. That sounds like it is worth a read, WOW, amazing that a book can give rise to so many emotions - a testament to the author - I love books and films that make you think.
    Jo xx

  9. Ok I now have to go and look for this book. Was interested to read that you liked crumble. I wish I had not eaten so much of the bramble one yesterday it has not helped my desire to get back to my running weight one little bit.

  10. I have heard people say this movie was a little disturbing but the book was totally different. Funny how this happens.

  11. LOVE Edward Scissorhands, sucha beautiful film!
    Great blog, definitely be back lots! Come follow TBAG if you fancy. xx

  12. I read The Lovely Bones when I was 8 months pregnant with my eldest son, funnily enough. I loved it, even though it was haunting and harrowing.... I went onto read Alice Sebold's 2nd autobiographical book about being raped.... just as harrowing actually. she is a brilliant writer - I'm about to read her third book once I've finished Jeanette Winterson's Stone Gods...
    Whatever you do though Josephine, do NOT make the mistake of watching the terrible Dreamworks production of Sebold's book. It's a sickly, schmaltzy, fluffiefied adaptation and does the book a huge disservice. Avoid at all costs!
    I love Leonora Carrington's work too.... saw some in London when I was still living there. Have you seen the wonderful biopic about her sister Dora, and her extraordinary lif with Lytton Strachey? It stars Emma Thompson and is just beautiful. Inspired me to read about their relationship which, like all those Bloomsbury affairs, was incredible!
    Thanks for sharing as usual, look forward to yr next post xx

  13. I know JUST what you mean about the tears thing, my family are so used to me crying buckets at seeing Halloween dressed children at the door, or children in school Christmas plays AH!!

    I didn't read the book 'Lovely Bones' purposely. Having watched the film, and constantly returned to 'the scene' where she is- (I'll not say you know the one I mean),desperately wanting to say..."Oh!! DON'T...DON'T!!" I deemed it best to leave the book alone. I thought it was a very very affecting movie.


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