Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Review: Lucky by Alice Sebold

I give all a fair warning, this is not a happy book, you will not smile or laugh while reading it but cringe. From the first sentence I knew this was going to be a brutal book, when the protagonist reviles in detail her rape. What made this book even more gripping is that it is based on a true story, on when Alice Sebold herself was raped in a park off-campus when she was walking back one night.

Sebold tells her story bluntly where at times I found it difficult to read. I knew before I read this book that it was based on true events and not made up, so it made the book pretty traumatic. An interesting thin about this book was reading about what happened to Sebold after the rape, how she dealt with her family and friends, even strangers. I liked how Sebold's first line in the book was: “This is what I remember…”, and her last line suggests:  “This is what I’ll never forget…”. This was a difficult story to read but said things that needed to be said and heard to people who have been raped and those who fortunately haven't.

In a memoir hailed for its searing candor and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus. What propels this chronicle of her recovery is Sebold's indomitable spirit - as she struggles for understanding ("After telling the hard facts to anyone, from lover to friend, I have changed in their eyes"); as her dazed family and friends sometimes bungle their efforts to provide comfort and support; and as, ultimately, she triumphs, managing through grit and coincidence to help secure her attacker's arrest and conviction. In a narrative by turns disturbing, thrilling, and inspiring, Alice Sebold illuminates the experience of trauma victims even as she imparts wisdom profoundly hard-won: "You save yourself or you remain unsaved."

Another gripping read by Alice Sebold, the author of "Lovely Bones".

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