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#RCN100 Celebrating 100 years of the Royal College of Nursing

The Lovely Bones

Alice Sebold

Rachel Cheney Price, Final Year Student Nurse

Reason you chose this book

One of the most powerful books I have ever read. The author's emotive language captivated me, reeling me in with its honesty and congruency in storytelling. This has empowered me with my mindfulness when nursing palliative patients and their bereaved families during my final year student placements.


This novel tells the story of a teenage girl, who after being raped and murdered, observes her family and friends from heaven and watches as they struggle to acknowledge then accept her death. I don't usually enjoy a book written in the first person but it is written with sensitivity and candour about death and immortality in a very non-judgemental way. As nurses we are required to reflect in practice and on practice, and similarly the main character Susie shows concerns about a penguin in her Snow globe, to which her Dad replies "Don't worry Susie, he has a nice life. He's trapped in a perfect world."

July's page turners

Read all of July's book reviews.