What are some common themes/topics in Lucky and The Lovely Bones?

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scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most obvious comparison point between the two books is the effect of rape/violent crime upon not only its victims but also upon the loved ones of those victims. In Lucky, Sebold discusses her own violent rape when she was a college student and her struggle to find some sense of identity and normalcy afterwards.  During her struggle, she has a great deal of difficulty relating to her loved ones or articulating what happened to her. Similarly, Susie's spirit cannot rest until her family can cope with her disappearance/murder.  Although she is a fictional character, her soul's struggle is not unlike Sebold's own battle to resurrect herself after she is attacked.

One more comparison point is the weightiness of both works.  While Lovely Bones is fictional, it is still a difficult read because of the near-destruction of Susie's family after her death. Lucky, because of its gritty reality and the reader's knowledge that it is not fictional, leaves an even stronger heavy impression. After I read Lucky for the first time, I appreciated the surreal parts of Bones even more and felt emotionally drained because I wanted a more hopeful perspective for the author.

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The Lovely Bones

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