The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (Little, Brown, 2002)
The Lovely Bones was the sophomore novel from American novelist Alice Sebold. The Lovely Bones tells the story of 14-year-old Susie Salmon who is raped and murdered on her way home from school. Nothing unusual yet, right? What makes The Lovely Bones unique is that Susie tells the whole tale as she looks down from heaven on her friends and family as they struggle to come to terms with her death.
The Lovely Bones received a multitude of critical praise after its release and quickly became a best-seller. Sir Peter Jackson, the New Zealand film director behind The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies personally purchased the film rights. The film, starring Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Rachel Weisz, Saoirse Ronan and Susan Sarandon, was in limited release in December 2009. It scored a wide release in January 2010. Tucci nabbed an Academy award nomination as Best Supporting Actor.