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  Lucky: A Memoir by Alice Sebold

Review by: Monika K.
Texas, Grade 9

The brutal and strangely real story of Alice Sebold’s life is told in the harsh memoir, Lucky. A college freshman at the time, she is unfamiliar with the surroundings at Syracuse University. After a late night fraternity party, Sebold was walking back to her dorm when she was quickly snatched and drug into an underground tunnel. She yells and struggles to get free from his tight grip, but she is a scrawny white girl and he is a tall buff man.
In the tunnel she repeatedly beaten. She surrenders everything, hoping he will let her go, but he won’t give up. she is bloody and hurt. Finally releasing her, Sebold runs to confront the police, her friends, and her family.
Before attending Syracuse University, Alice Sebold and her family were distant and unaffectionate, making her nervous to inform them. Her dad was always working and her mom was did not like to talk, which made Sebold learn independence. She calls her family and eventually returns home to Pennsylvania for the summer. Describing her reality nightmare, she becomes timid with any interaction with a man. Later that year she returns to Syracuse to complete her sophomore year and continues to describe how she slowly, but bravely heals from her tragedy.


This book was filled with vivid imagery and hopefulness. Any reader can visualize the 1981 college campus. Revealing gruesome diction and violence, I would recommend this book for high school students and adults. The positivity and confidence in Sebold made the book more interesting. She does not complain or make the reader always feel bad for her. She creates a theme that makes the reader feel as if after any horrible situation, things will get better.

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