Jenna lent me “Lucky”, following on from the two Alice Sebold novels I read earlier this year. She warned me it would be a hard read. It was. It is an autobiography that deals frankly and personally with rape, written with all the skill and control of an expert author. Sebold never seems to give in to self-pity, and is ruthless in exploring her emotions and those of her friends and family around her. Exhausting stuff. The trauma comes through clearly throughout the book. I’m left with a great respect for her strength and determination.

I found the opening chapter personally disturbing: the language and atmosphere didn’t convey a horrific rape and at times became erotic. Not a comfortable mix. I’m tempted to say this was the language used and the gentle pace. but I’m not going to analyse this too much. The final chapter deals with Sebold’s life after university—it give me quite a different impression to that which I had from her earlier novels. The links between this book and her two novels are very clear, and support one another. I’m glad I read this on lots of levels.

“Lucky” (Alice Sebold)