by Alice Sebold.
It's hard to believe that this is Sebold's debut novel, it's so well written.
It's the story of Susie Salmon who is murdered at 14. The murderer, an absolute creep, lives just a few doors down from her family home. Her father knows he did it but there's no evidence.
Susie narrates the story from her Heaven - she watches her family and friends as they try to deal with her death. She watches as her parents falls apart and then struggle to get back to some sort of normality. She watches her brother and sister grow from children to young adults. She sees her friends grow up. All of these people struggle to come to terms with Susie's death. It's not until they do come to terms with it that Susie is able to let go.
It's not a morbid book by any means and I found myself smiling quite a lot. Susie is a heart warming character and her observations are insightful as well as moving. At times I was also moved to tears.
The novel is a great examination of how people deal with the death of a loved one - the lows they sink to and the way they eventually rise from those lows to carry on.