January 17, 2005

The one thing we’ve got more of

Book #2 of 2005: Lucky by Alice Sebold
I read this on the strength of The Lovely Bones, and was rather disappointed to realise that it was actually her own memoir, the story of a rape.
It starts when she is raped at 18; details the trauma for herself and her family; the way the experience made her feel isolated from “normal” society; and – the best bit – describes the trial of her rapist.
I can’t disagree that she went through a devastating personal experience, but the narrative makes it clear that the rape defines her life and her personality, even while she is objecting to being seen as nothing more than The Victim. She feels that she is an anomoly, as a middle class white girl who has been brutally exposed to the seediest side of life; yet uses everything that is bred into her as a middle class white girl to get her rapist jailed.
It is a brave book, but not one that I would recommend for entertainment purposes. Sebold’s fictional work on the same subject flows much more smoothly – obviously – because it is less raw.
I can relate to it on one particular personal note, having recently realised the extent to which my own response to random violence is purely administrative.


2 thoughts on “The one thing we’ve got more of

  1. Snap. Bought it without looking at the back of the cover because I thought it would be a chance to see if it would have the qualities of lovely bones without the disappointing bits. Nearly did not read it when I realised what it actually was about. Read it in one go but can’t say I would pass it on.

  2. Ah, Lovely Bones and Lucky have suffered the fate of the 2 for the price of 1 impulse buy. Still sitting on my bookshelves waiting to be read. Thank you for reminding me . . .

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