"What's the use of stories that aren't even true?" This quote from Haroun and the Sea of Stories inspired me to think about the fictional stories I have read and what I have gotten out of them. One book that really came to mind was The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, a book that opened my eyes to the tragic world of rape, murder, and deceit. I became horribly aware of the pain and anger felt by the victim's family from their not knowing what had happened to their daughter, Susie. The result was that Sebold's book forced me to realize how rape can happen to anyone and to think twice about the adults I think I can trust. This book presented a new view on the afterlife and how having anything you want doesn't necessarily make you happy.
The Lovely Bones changed my perspective of heaven. Now I am not sure if death really can bring peace and heaven may not be all that perfect. In Susie's heaven, she can have everything she wants; she just needs to think about it. That makes heaven a sort of perfect world. However, I think one of the themes of the book was about how there's no such thing as a perfect world, and that is why she can't have the one thing that she yearns for: a chance to feel and be human again. Susie says that in her heaven "life is a perpetual yesterday". Although she is surrounded by things that bring her peace such as a friendly roommate, a cheery neighborhood (it looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing set), and her deceased grandfather, it is a sad heaven for Susie because she can't be with the people she loves on earth and she cannot tell them what happened to her. She repeatedly relives the horrifying events leading up to her death. All Susie can do is look down upon her family and friends and try to send them the slightest clues to her mysterious disappearance. This was an interesting view of heaven because I have always been told throughout my upbringing that in heaven there is peace after death.