What themes do "The Lovely Bones" and Sebold's new book "The Almost Moon" have in common? Many have read " the Lovely Bones", but some may have read sebolds new book...

What themes do "The Lovely Bones" and Sebold's new book "The Almost Moon" have in common?

Many have read " the Lovely Bones", but some may have read sebolds new book released in 2007, so perhaps some may help with this question.

Asked on by chand11

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In terms of plot, both stories deal with murders that have no obvious motive.  However, the narrator of the new novel is the villian and not the vicitim, as was the case in The Lovely Bones.  Helen of Moon is not the rational creature that Susie is, either.  She shares more in common, as one might suspect, with Susie's killer Mr. Harvey.

This is the first common theme, the humanization of a murderer.  Both novels attempt to explain the reasoning behind the murders.  In Bones, Sebold spends significant time showing readers the Harvey's personal history,  his troubled childhood, and his attempts to avoid homicide.  All of Moon is devoted to the same theme; readers are shown Helen's history and the behavior of her mother so they might understand that she is not just a 'crazy person'.  Readers are meant to find some compassion for both characters.

The other theme is the dysfunction of family.  As mentioned, Harvey's family life as a child was unsettled - his mother taught him to steal, put him in dangerous situations, and abandoned him to an abusive father.  The Salmon family is dysfunctional after Susie's death because they do not communicate and work through their grief, resulting in injury and abandonment.  Helen and mother struggled through the father's suicide and the mother's agorophobia, also not communicating or sharing, which led to their troubled relationship.

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