by Sukey HowardMarch 2003
Sukey's favorite: before and after
<B>Sukey's favorite: before and after</B>After she had been raped and beaten, a policeman told Alice Sebold that she was lucky to be alive to tell the tale the previous victim had been raped, murdered and dismembered. And tell the tale she does in <B>Lucky</B>, her unflinching, unflinchingly read memoir of her experiences before, during and after the brutal ordeal. Alice was a freshman at Syracuse when she was attacked. She identified her attacker the next year and successfully testified against him. The details are raw and harrowing. There was high drama in that horror, yet Sebold describes it all without false emotion, without self-pity and with the simple clarity of a witness to the terrible things one human can do to another. Lucky was published three years before her hugely successful first novel <I>The Lovely Bones</I>, but I found the memoir far more compelling, more affecting in its treatment of dark material and of what actually happens to victims and their families. This is real life where closure and healing come slowly, if at all. It's not always an easy listen, but do.