Publication Date: January 1st, 2002
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Adult Mystery
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 372 pages
Buy It: Amazon
“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.”
So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her — her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family unraveling.
This book was okay. I really, really wanted to like this more than I did. For me, the beginning of this book was great and had me wanting to read more. From there it just kept going downhill. I think the majority of why I didn’t like this book was because it did not meet the expectations I had for it. I expected it to be a faster pace book. It wasn’t; it was a fairly slow read, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it isn’t really what I like to read when it comes to these type of books. I could have lived with the slower pace if it wasn’t for the fact that I found this book to be extremely uneventful. There was the big moment at the beginning (this isn’t a spoiler, it’s the first line of the book) where Susie is killed, and the first like thirty to forty pages after that is rather eventful. There were a few other spots in the book where some kind of eventful things happened, but it just wasn’t enough for me.
Most of the characters were okay. Susie’s father is probably the only one who really stuck out to me. I enjoyed Susie’s character for the most part, up until the end of the book. I can’t really say why without spoiling the book, but let’s just say I did not really agree with her choice. I wasn’t a big fan of what happened to the murderer either. I could kind of see reason for it, but it just was not what I expected/wanted to happen. Alice Sebold’s writing was not bad by any means, I think this book was just not for me.
Overall, I’m not sure I would recommend this. The premise was cool, but it just did not live up to my expectations. Or I would recommend going into it with very low expectations, because I think that might have been what killed it for me. If you’re still interested in reading it, I would suggest maybe checking this book out from your local library and giving it a read. Even if this book was not for me, there are quite a few people who really love this novel. (A few of my friends included.)