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Lucky – Book Review

If they caught you, long enough for me to see that face again, maybe I would know your name. I could stop calling you ‘the rapist,’ and start calling you John or Luke or Paul. I want to make my hatred large and whole. – From Lucky, pages 98-99-

Alice Sebold has written a searingly honest and brutally explicit memoir about what it is like to experience rape … and then how to move forward through life following such a savage attack. This is not an enjoyable read. It shocked me. Made me angry. Made me weep for what was stolen from Ms. Sebold on the night she was raped.  And scared the wits out of me.

Alice Sebold writes with a rawness that is uncomfortable for the reader. She reveals the coldness of the legal and medical systems in how they deal with rape victims. And ultimately she demonstrates the strength of self a victim needs to survive this type of crime.

A book like Lucky is one that is difficult to read, but I believe it is an important book. I imagine it took Ms. Sebold a tremendous amount of courage to write it. I turned the last page with a new found understanding of what it truly means to be a survivor.

Recommended with a warning that some sections are graphic and disturbing.


  1. Anonymous Anonymous
    June 10, 2007    

    Great review! I read the Lovely Bones years ago and was quite moved by it. I know not everyone was. I immediately went out and bought a copy of Lucky, although I still have yet to get to it. I really must though.

  2. Anonymous Anonymous
    June 11, 2007    

    This book is next up for me in the NonFiction5 challenge, so I’ll be reading it in July. Based on your review, the book is about what I was expecting: a difficult but important book. Thanks for the review!

  3. Anonymous Anonymous
    June 11, 2007    

    WendyCat and Laura – I think you’ll both be glad you read this book. I was a little reluctant to recommend it because I know the violence and disturbing nature of the book might turn some readers off – but Sebold does a remarkable job of writing this difficult memoir.

  4. Anonymous Anonymous
    June 11, 2007    

    I read this book about 2 years ago and at times it was very difficult to read due to Sebold’s brutal honesty. I felt at the end of the book that she hadn’t really come to terms with the rape and was still tortured, did you feel that way at all?

  5. Anonymous Anonymous
    June 11, 2007    

    I actually thought that at the end she was starting to actually deal with the rape and how it impacted her (I based this on the fact that she made a decision to stop using heroin and mentions that she held hope in her hand). I agree – a brutal story which at times was almost unbearable to read.

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