August 3, 2011

Lucky by Alice Sebold

Title:  Lucky
Author:  Alice Sebold
Format:  HC
Pages:  250
Genre:  Non-Fiction / Memoir
Publisher:  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999
ISBN-13:  978-0684857824
Series:  Stand Alone

Favorite Quote:  No one can pull anyone back from anywhere.  You save yourself or you remain unsaved.

Synopsis (Amazon):  Enormously visceral, emotionally gripping, and imbued with the belief that justice is possible even after the most horrific of crimes, Alice Sebold's compelling memoir of her rape at the age of eighteen is a story that takes hold of you and won't let go.

Sebold fulfills a promise that she made to herself in the very tunnel where she was raped: someday she would write a book about her experience. With Lucky she delivers on that promise with mordant wit and an eye for life's absurdities, as she describes what she was like both as a young girl before the rape and how that rape changed but did not sink the woman she later became.

It is Alice's indomitable spirit that we come to know in these pages. The same young woman who sets her sights on becoming an Ethel Merman-style diva one day (despite her braces, bad complexion, and extra weight) encounters what is still thought of today as the crime from which no woman can ever really recover. In an account that is at once heartrending and hilarious, we see Alice's spirit prevail as she struggles to have a normal college experience in the aftermath of this harrowing, life-changing event.

No less gripping is the almost unbelievable role that coincidence plays in the unfolding of Sebold's narrative. Her case, placed in the inactive file, is miraculously opened again six months later when she sees her rapist on the street. This begins the long road to what dominates these pages: the struggle for triumph and understanding -- in the courtroom and outside in the world.

Lucky is, quite simply, a real-life thriller. In its literary style and narrative tension we never lose sight of why this life story is worth reading. At the end we are left standing in the wake of devastating violence, and, like the writer, we have come to know what it means to survive.

Review:  I admit it.  I did not believe that Ms. Sebold could touch me again as she did with her novel, The Lovely Bones.  I was wrong.  This book is full of sorrow, danger, suspense, and pure horror.  It should be required reading for every young woman.  The tale told here and the lessons to be learned from it are just incredible.

While I still think I really do like the previous novel better, this is a true story.  It is hard to imagine a worse true story, but the author does not sugar coat it.  It is harsh and hard to read a times.  The truth is often hard to bear, but this author does not shy from truths even when they are about herself.  It also has lighter, funnier moments.  The writing is fluid and the book is impossible to put down, making it a quick read.

I usually will pass by non-fiction because I find it boring.  This book is the exception to that rule.  I loved it and will not ever forget it.

Rating:  10 / 10

No comments:

Post a Comment

Back to Top