My name is Susie Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighbourhood.
Watching from her place in heaven, Susie Salmon sees her suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they each try to cope with their terrible loss alone. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet…
I loved this book. It was written in a unique way I had never seen, but thoroughly enjoyed. This book is written in the perspective of a murder victim, who is watching the aftermath of her death from heaven. I loved the insight she brought to the way her family reacted and the way they lived their lives in the wake of her death. I may not have liked all the characters, but I began to understand the motivations of their actions because of Susie’s insight.
To me, this book felt real. The way people reacted was authentic, the killer was realistic, and the book showed the real way that death brings communities together. Mourning was portrayed as something that does not last a few days or weeks, but something that can live with someone for years. This is not done often in books and was a surprising aspect of the book. The characters had believable flaws, and all together reflected the lives of average people.
The problems I had with the book came from the ending few chapters. The story seemed to drag on forever, when it could have been summarised in a chapter or two. Without spoiling anything, Susie’s attitude and personality changed in one particular chapter where everything she said and did was completely out of character. After that, she returned to normal as if nothing happened.
Overall, I would recommend this book to everyone, however I must put a trigger warning for rape. There is more then one described throughout the book.