Susie Salmon was raped and murdered when she was 14 years old. It’s not a spoiler. This is stated in the first sentences of the book, which is about grieving and dealing with tragedy.
The book is told from the perspective of Susie, in first-person narration, as she tells about what happened to her and what is going on Earth after she’s gone. She is in heaven, where she can have anything she wants, except going back to Earth, or having revenge on her murderer. She’s not ready yet to let go on Earth, so she watches how her family and all she left behind, deal with her disappearance.
First of all, it’s a beautifully written book, full of poetry. It’s melancholic, which for some may seem boring. It’s detailed, and each character is a fully-fleshed person. I felt sympathy for each of them – even the mother; I never blamed her for anything.
When reading this novel, it was hard not to want revenge, not to want the murderer to be punished. I kept on forgetting that it wasn’t really what the book is about. It’s about moving on, about picking up the pieces after a great tragedy of a child/sister/friend/almost girlfriend being brutally murdered. It’s about moving on, and learning to not forget, but to live on, love and laugh without remorse.
A big plus for creating one of the greatest fathers ever. I loved, loved, loved him deeply.
A minus for one scene at the end, which didn’t fit into the story, in my opinion.
Overall, worth the read, but only for those who don’t want some fast and strong action.