Lucky by Alice Sebold

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Synopsis

Enormously visceral, emotionally gripping, and imbued with the belief that justice is possible even after the most horrific of crimes, Alice Sebold's compelling memoir of her rape at the age of eighteen is a story that takes hold of you and won't let go.
Sebold fulfills a promise that she made to herself in the very tunnel where she was raped: someday she would write a book about her experience. With Lucky she delivers on that promise with mordant wit and an eye for life's absurdities, as she describes what she was like both as a young girl before the rape and how that rape changed but did not sink the woman she later became.
It is Alice's indomitable spirit that we come to know in these pages. The same young woman who sets her sights on becoming an Ethel Merman-style diva one day (despite her braces, bad complexion, and extra weight) encounters what is still thought of today as the crime from which no woman can ever really recover. In an account that is at once heartrending and hilarious, we see Alice's spirit prevail as she struggles to have a normal college experience in the aftermath of this harrowing, life-changing event.
No less gripping is the almost unbelievable role that coincidence plays in the unfolding of Sebold's narrative. Her case, placed in the inactive file, is miraculously opened again six months later when she sees her rapist on the street. This begins the long road to what dominates these pages: the struggle for triumph and understanding -- in the courtroom and outside in the world.
Lucky is, quite simply, a real-life thriller. In its literary style and narrative tension we never lose sight of why this life story is worth reading. At the end we are left standing in the wake of devastating violence, and, like the writer, we have come to know what it means to survive.
 

About Alice Sebold

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Alice Sebold is a graduate of Syracuse University, and she received her MFA at the University of California, Irvine. She has made her living as a teacher and has also written for The New York Times Magazine. She currently lives in southern California, where she is at work on her first novel.
 
Published September 17, 2009 by Scribner. 274 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lucky

Kirkus Reviews

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A stunningly crafted and unsparing account of the author's rape as a college freshman and what it took to win her case in court.

Jan 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Lucky

Publishers Weekly

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Sebold's memoir of her rape as a college freshman and its aftermath is searingly honest and harrowing, and her quiet, personal narration is equally riveting. The gifted author occasionally ting

Feb 03 2003 | Read Full Review of Lucky

Publishers Weekly

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When journalist Sebold was a college freshman at Syracuse University, she was attacked and raped on the last night of school, forced onto the ground in a tunnel among the dead leaves and broken beer

Aug 02 1999 | Read Full Review of Lucky

Publishers Weekly

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She also finds irony when a police officer tells her she was lucky because she was "only" raped, not murdered, and later, when the police view her as a "successful rape victim" (one whose rapist ended up behind bars).

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Publishers Weekly

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When journalist Sebold was a college freshman at Syracuse University, she was attacked and raped on the last night of school, forced onto the ground in a tunnel among the dead leaves and broken beer

Aug 02 1999 | Read Full Review of Lucky

Examiner

Lucky by Alice Sebold (1999).

Apr 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Lucky

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Mar 07 2015 | Read Full Review of Lucky

The Bookbag

It certainly seems that when faced with other rape victims whom, for their own reasons, have decided to bury their experience and pretend it never happened, Alice felt the same way.

Jan 02 2015 | Read Full Review of Lucky

Reviewing the Evidence

[ Home ].

Jan 31 2013 | Read Full Review of Lucky

Crikey

Angela and I continued to chat about those writers who have an understated way of inciting emotion and I remembered being affected by the withheld tone in Alice Sebold’s Lucky (Aus, US), in much the same way that I had been when reading The Tall Man.

Dec 03 2009 | Read Full Review of Lucky

Reader Rating for Lucky
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