I first read The Lovely Bones in the fall of 2002, at a time when I was living in Germany and didn't want to be. I had just fallen in love, I had just moved half a world away from my future husband, and I was really bummed out from having just read The Corrections (seriously, every time I picked it up I spiraled further into despair. So I wasn't prepared to like it. And I didn't. I hated how ubiquitous her novel was -- every store, every shelf, even in Germany. I hated the set-up: dead girl telling her story from heaven. I hated that a little girl had to get raped and die for people to buy a book.
Time has clearly weathered my feelings towards The Lovely Bones. I picked it up again, as well as some of her other books, to prepare a mini-assessment of her for corridorbuzz.com and found myself enrapt with Sebold's storytelling abilities and the power of her characters' voices.
Well, Alice Sebold is coming to Iowa City, and she's not even being brought here by the workshop. If I were anywhere near Iowa City next week I would go and see this brave woman.