Lucky is a memoir by prominent novelist Alice Sebold, who also wrote The Lovely Bones. The book chronicles her experience as a rape survivor and the tumultuous months that followed where she had to defend herself against her father, her peers, and a grand jury in court against her rapist. The book is notable for its candid recount of the rape and how it shaped her life afterwards, a painful, yet forcefully compelling read.
The plot is Sebold's real life narrative, starting with her rape in college as a freshman at Syracuse University. Alice was walking home one day through a park when she was attacked, beaten, and raped by a stranger. She reports the case to the police, who tell her that a young woman was once murdered in the same location; she was "lucky" to have escaped alive even. The police investigate the case, but find no leads.
Alice goes to Pennsylvania during the summer to live with her family, and one day on the sidewalk she encounters her rapist, who smirks and leers at her. After a series of events, the rapist eventually ends up locked up, and Alice is able to reach a sense of closure at last. However, the entire novel is about how the rape was a horrifying experience, but it set a tone for the rest of Alice's career as a writer, as well as forcing her to grow as a person.
Sebold stated that "One of the reasons why I wrote [the book] is because tons of people have had similar stories, not exactly the same but similar, and I want the word 'rape' to be used easily in conversation. My desire would be that somehow my writing would take a little bit of the taboo or the weirdness of using that word away. No one work is going to accomplish the years of work that need to be done, but it can help." Lucky was critically acclaimed for its frank and realistic account of a rape victim.