Saturday, January 19, 2008


LUCKY by Alice Sebold was read for the In Their Shoes Challenge.

From the back of the book:

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 ("After telling the hard facts to anyone, from lover to friend, I have changed in their eyes"); 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 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."

I wasn't thrilled with this book.

Her attack was terrible. Her treatment by so-called friends was less than friendly and supportive. The trial was a horrible experience for her. But for some reason I just couldn't work up a lot of sympathy for her. There was something - something I can't put my finger on - that made me not quite care. Maybe it was her lifestyle in the years following the attack. Drinking, drugs, casual sex. Perhaps that was her coping mechanism. Maybe I'm just too old and far removed from that era and mindset to understand.

I'm glad that she was able to move on with her life after this attack. I hope that writing this book was a way for her to put this all behind her.

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