4 Feb 2012

Review: "Lucky" by Alice Sebold

Some books are so honest, so open and so real that it affects me in an almost physical way to read them. Do you know that feeling? Where you are so immersed in a book that you tense up and end up with your shoulders right under your ears and you spine is hurting from the tension? Fairly few non-fiction books get me to this stage... actually very very few. "Lucky" by Alice Sebold is one of these very few.

You have probably heard of Alice Sebold before. She is the author of "The Lovely Bones", the highly acclaimed novel that was made into a movie. I haven't read that one but I stumbled over "Lucky" and thought I could give it a go. The topic is a difficult one. This is the non-fiction, truer than true story of how young Alice was raped when she was on her way through and crossed through dark part of a park.

This is the story of what has happened to so many girls and women. It is the story of a woman being robbed of something that she can never have back and of having to fight for her right to a normal life afterwards. Because the rape is just the first part of the story, then comes the trial and having to go through the process of being a victim and dealing with the way that people are now treating her differently.

On the back of the book it says something really profound: "You save yourself or you remain unsaved." Alice Sebold figured this out the hard way as she fought to save herself from the role that society and people pressed upon her and as she fought for what she believed was her right - a normal right.

As a book it is in a league way above most of the other "my true story" tales. It is so well-written that you almost (almost) forget that this is a real story, not just a very vivid narrator. It is an incredibly powerful book that will probably be an emotional read for most people but it is also a courageous work at art that confronts a taboo that few of us dare to discuss. Some people might be offended by the violence in the book and by the way that Sebold handles (or doesn't handle) the emotional and mental consequences of her experiences. I didn't thought - what I felt most was admiration for her honesty and her will to tell this story and encourage others to tell their stories and face the taboos.

For other bloggers' thoughts on "Lucky" by Alice Sebold try:

Amy Reads

My Dear Trash

The Mad Bibliophile


  1. I've read "The Lovely Bones" and I found it over-sentimental and a bit silly in places. However, I admire the author for telling her story in this book - rape has stuff a stigma and it is such an awful thing to happen to anyone.

  2. I haven't read The Lovely Bones yet... Don't know why but I am a bit worried that I won't like the plot. I bought another book by her yesterday though in a second-hand shop, so will see how I like that one.

  3. I think this is one of those situations where we all react differently and it really bothers me seeing people who haven't lived through such experiences judging her response you know? Glad to hear you admired her and the book, despite the fact that it is such a hard read. Thanks for linking to my review.