Later than 1am on reading this one. But a rather engaging, heart-touching piece of creative storytelling (young girl is raped and murdered; she watches, from Heaven, her family struggle through years of grief and evolve into a hardened unit that never would've happened if she were still breathing). Bleak at times, but not in the extreme, visceral ways I'm typically more partial to, while sad in ways that have me loving my family (especially Lil' G, known to the government as Gianna) the more after finishing page 325.
The way Sebold ends the story is the only real drawback. Things start off swiftly, gripping from page one. In the middle, it slows down considerably, but still commands. As the resolutions, or lack thereof, surface, though, steam is let out. Namely in how the killer's subplot is wrapped up, which left me saying out loud (literally), "Fuck outta here....that's it? Just like that?"
Let's see if Peter Jackson turns it into an equally-touching movie. But Mark Wahlberg as the father? Ehhh...pre-2008, I would've supported, but post-The Happening-and-Max Payne, not so much. Ryan Gosling dropping out of the role before Wahlberg stepped in = tragic.