This hauntingly beautiful novel chronicles the journey of 14-year-old Susie Salmon as she relinquishes her desire for life and her family left behind. When the book opens, Susie is already dead, the victim of a serial rapist. She explores heaven but her focus remains on the living — her family, her first crush, and the man who took her life.
Alice Sebold masterfully crafts the story around everyday experiences and snapshots of in the Salmon family as Susie watches from heaven. The narrative flows effortlessly and powerfully conveys deep currents of grief, pain, absence and longing.
Rated: High. The language in the book includes 2 uses of the f-word and 10 to 15 uses of mild profanity. The middle of the book is fairly clean with the exception of the first few pages and the very end. The first chapter details Susie’s disturbing death. It is brief and not overly graphic, but it follows her through the experience of her abduction, rape and murder. A more descriptive sexual encounter in Chapter 22 references body parts.