It’s totally awesome book Tuesday! Today I bring you “Lucky” by Alice Sebold. As a small little reminder, this is the author of the book “The Lovely Bones” which became a movie, but *cough cough* the movie sucked compared to the book *cough cough* Just saying 🙂

This book, however, is nowhere close to being fiction. This is a nonfiction book, a memoir, of a spine-chilling story of a part of her life.

So, here’s the synopsis of Lucky:

“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; 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 of 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.'”

So, let me break it down more for you.

Let me first start you out for a warning. This book goes straight into the rape scene, and trust me, she does not hold anything back. She’s a virgin before all of this, and we have to read the trauma of him “breaking her” right off the bat. This scene gets very disturbing, so I must warn everyone of this part, especially fellow girls. While I read this part, my throat was clogged because I felt so choked up for this poor girl. Also, this book isn’t afraid to cuss, so another small snippet of a caution. So, you’ve been warned.

We follow Alice as she tries to struggle back to sanity, step by step, and she doesn’t miss any tiny detail. We get the time she goes to the hospital right after the rape, her parents’ reactions, and how people react around her right when she comes back to college. This is a very heavy kind of book, so if you’re looking for a light read then this isn’t the one for you. However, I do think that people should read this because of this heavy topic and the horror that such tragedy can bring to somebody.

Here are a few things that have stuck with me from this book:

“You save yourself or you remain unsaved.”

“It was an early nuance of a realization that would take years to face. I share my life not with the girls and boys I grew up with, or the students I went to Syracuse with, or even the friends and people I’ve known since. I share my life with my rapist. He is the husband to my fate.”

“The words ‘nice boy’ entered my mind. I had seen how Johnathan looked at me and was now convinced: No nice boy will ever want me. I was all those horrible words used for rape; I was changed, bloodied, damaged, goods, ruined.”

“‘He likes Mary,’ I said, making my presence known, ‘because Mary wasn’t raped!’

‘Alice,’ my mother said, ‘don’t do this.’

‘He’s a nice boy,’ I said. ‘No nice boy is ever going to want me.'”

“How we were lucky for war and rape because it gave us something no one else had: a sixth sense that turned on when we felt danger near us or those we loved.”

And I don’t really recall the exact quote, but I remember a guy telling Alice that he stared at himself naked in the shower and hated his body merely because it could do so much harm to a woman.

This is a very powerful book about fear, courage, strength, and trying to move on to better things. After I read this book it really opened my eyes to rape victims in this world. Of course I naturally felt pity because, being a girl myself, the thought of being raped is a more horrible thought than I can even describe in words. Reading this book, however, really made me further understand how it can be like, and what these poor girls have to go through.

As for those girls or guys that have been raped, I think this book will really help you connect to someone else that’s been through it. She doesn’t hold back on her thoughts and her struggles, so not one point will be missed that you can possibly connect to. You are never alone in this, and we’re blessed to have books like these ones that can open our eyes to something that’s both traumatizing yet courageous.

So, go on and check this book out. You’re sure to find yourself engulfed not only in her life, but the strength within yourself too.

Keep on reading!

-Sara R.


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