August 12, 2010

Lucky...not so sure

Beach reading should be light-hearted, entertaining, and filled with gossip and witty remarks.  I often pick a book by its cover (so cliché), so if the title is catchy or the picture on the front pops – I take it off the shelf. 
            From the appearance of the novel, Lucky by Alice Sebold, the vibrant yellow cover with a picture of a rabbit’s tail made me think “lucky in love”.  As it turns out, it meant lucky to be alive.  The book details a memoir of the author’s rape during her college and the aftermath.  A heavy word, rape, settled with me while reading on the beach last week.  Not at all what I thought when I picked out the book from the library.  Perhaps, I should read the book jacket when searching for a light-hearted read.  However, this book was honest, heartbreaking, and showed the courage Alice had to stand up and face her rapist.  As I type this, I recall definite moments where I was crying, my shoulders shaking, while on-lookers probably wondered what I was doing in 98-degree weather in my beach chair.

            An except from the book:
“In the tunnel where I was raped, a tunnel that was once an underground entry to an amphitheater, a place where actors burst forth from underneath the seats of a crowd, a girl had been murdered and dismembered.  I was told this story by the police.  In comparison, they said, I was lucky.” 

I do not have a typical critique of the book, but just the thoughts that I can never imagine what she went through.  The majority of the book explained how this one night affected her, and what happened at the trial and all the events leading up to it.  She doesn’t use this book for therapy, or for her to relive this moment, but as a story to tell.  She does it well.  Alice Sebold captures her raw emotions, and details her journey to heal and move on with her life. 

Though this kind of trauma, an unknown trauma to many, is hard to understand and process, I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to read this accurate account of Alice Sebold’s openness on the subject.  


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