I picked up Alice Sebold’s memoir of her rape entitled, “Lucky,” while shopping for some birthday gifts for my dad a few weeks ago at Barnes and Noble (yes, they still exist). I’m a clearance junkie and it was marked down from $12.99 to $4.98, so after reading the back cover I knew I had to take it home. Sebold is the author of “The Lovely Bones” which debuted in 2002 and had a movie adaptation of the book. Although “The Lovely Bones” is a very difficult read as it deals with kidnapping, rape and murder of a pre-teen child – Sebold details and equally disturbing true tale of her own rape through “Lucky”. She’s a master of transporting you into the moment where intimate details of a horror occur, so that you feel as if you are standing next to her – part of the walls standing witness to the devastation.
In her freshman year at Syracuse University, Alice was making her way home around midnight through a park when she was followed and then attacked by a young African-American male. He overcame her, drug her to a cavern in the park where he beat her, raped her and stole $8 in cash from her. The physical scars she encountered from that evening where evident and she quickly launched into trying to assist the police department with finding and prosecuting her captor. Throughout the memoir, she dives into her family make-up – her mother’s substance abuse and depression, her father’s academic priorities, how Alice’s rape takes over the way her family views her/thinks of her.
Returning to school the following year, Alice stumbles into her rapist on-campus where she’s able to successfully identify him and he’s subsequently arrested. The memoir then dives into the entire trial with her interactions with policemen, attorneys, and ups and downs of the entire process. Reading her recount of the entire experience will put you in the courtroom, will make you feel as if the rapist lifted his head and stared at you during the line-up process – will break your heart as you cheer for Alice to make it through her testimony successfully.
I seriously could not put this book down and read in over a weekend. Her story is heartbreaking, but resilient. Her description and the way she paints the various characters of her life, will have you feel as if you, yourself, knew them – were affected by them. It’s a great read and definitely something you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from.