OPENING STEATEMENT I read the book the lovely bones. turns the idea of death and murder upside down. Lovely bones is a serious and compelling read that touches the heart. What touches us is the way the author keeps us fascinated with the murder, the family, and the life of a 14 year old girl, Suzie salmon, after her death. NARRATOR The book is written in the perspective of Suzie herself as she watches her family from her heaven. Even years after her murder, Suzie watches these people, wishing to guide them, to touch them. But she can’t. She can hear them, see them and know what their thinking but she can’t contact them. She watches as their lives drastically change. She watches her family go through hard times and pain without being able to help them. But Suzie’s inability gives her great personal and emotional growth durring the book. She is portrayed as an average teenage girl at the beginning of the book, but she undergoes transformations and finally begins to mature and grow up towards the end of the book. “I did begin to wonder what the word heaven meant. I thought if this were heaven, truly heaven, it would be where my grandparents lived…. I would feel only joy and have no memory, no cornfield and no grave”. Suzie learns better understanding of what death is and learns to let go of her own. CHARACTERS For Suzie’s family the event of her death is like a silent explosion, breaking her loved ones apart, and tossing them into an emotion, wreck they didn’t anticipate or dream they could experience. Suzie’s father was devastated by her death, and becomes obsessed with finding her killer. Her mother emotionally releases herself from the family, and uses it to escape her own life. Suzie’s brother, from who the murder is kept from for years, hones a streak of anger and Suzie’s sister seems to internalize the violence, “reshaping her life around it, in the way an oyster uses a grain of sand to make a pearl. ” CHARACTERS There are others too, a girl Suzie knew, Ruth, who becomes focused on the killing and sort of bonds with it. The boy with whom Suzie shared her first kiss. The police man who investigates the murder and becomes involved with the mother. he boy samual that lindey becomes involved withand keeps her strong. Even the killer himself, a creepy man obsessed with sex, death and bones, keeping remnants of his horrible acts. Plot On December 6th 1973 in a Pennsylvanian suburb, Suzie salmon takes as short cut home from school. George Harvey, a neighbor who lives along and builds dollhouses approaches her, and convinces Suzie and her curious nature to enter an underground den that he built. Inside the rapes and murders her, then dismembers her body. An elbow, the only part of Suzie ever found, is left behind accidentally as he returns home. He disposes of the body, putting the dismembered pieces into a safe and dropping the safe at a local sinkhole. Suzie’s sprit unwillingly flees toward her heaven. Suzie is reported missing and the salmon family hopes that she will come up. The salmon family is reluctant to accept Suzie has been killed, but it unconsciously sinks in when her elbow is found by a neighborhood dog, and the toque her mother had made for her is found in the cornfield. Neighbors, including Mr. Harvey are questioned, the police find him odd, but see no reason to suspect him of the murder. Jack salmon Suzies father, later becomes suspicious, and beings to obsess and stress that Harvey is the murderer. A boy from school is suspected because of a love letter found for Suzie written by him, but his alibi is obviously strong and thoughts are dropped. Suzie’s sister Lindsey eventually comes to share theses suspicions. Buckley, Suzie’s younger brother, too young to understand what has happened, holds onto the memory of her sister knowing somehow that she is not coming back. Jack, consumed by guilt over not having protected his daughter, remains on extended leave from work, and tries to cope as he increasingly isolates himself at home, and from his family. Late that summer the detective, Len fenerman, comes to tell the family the police have exhausted all leads and are dropping the investigation. Jack later loses it and believes Harvey is in the cornfield and runs out to confront him with a baseball bat. It ends up being two kids from school, but before knowing this, jack tires to attack and instead himself gets hurt and ends up in the hospital for knee replacement surgery. With this, Abigail, Suzie’s mother begins an affair with the detective Len fenerman. Still suspicious Lindsey sneaks into Harvey’s house, and ends up finding a sketch of the underground hole, but leaves quickly as Harvey returns home. Recognizing posing danger Harvey leaves and becomes somewhat as a drifter. With this his land is bulldozed, findings of a coke can with both Harvey’s and Suzie’s fingerprint finally places him as the official suspect in the case. Although he is long gone. That fall another one of his murder victims is found, in Connecticut ith a charm off of Suzie’s bracelet nearby. The charmed is later linked to Suzie, and as more evidence is uncovered Harvey is realized as a serial killer who prey on young girls. Following this, in the winter Abigail leaves her husband and family. She moved to California to escape and finds a job in a winery. This results in her mother grandma Lynn, moves into the home to help care for Buckley and Lindsey. Later years, Lindsey becomes engaged to her boyfriend Samuel heckler. Returning home from graduation. Sometime after the return home and after celebrations, jack suffers a heart attack. The emergency prompts Abigail to return home. The reunion is somewhat sullen, from buckles lingering bitterness, for her abandonment. When Harvey returns to explore his old neighborhood, he drives by the sinkhole where Suzie’s body rests. Ruth Coners and ray Singh are there at that point but don’t notice his car pass. Ruth an old classmate, who had felt Suzie sprit the day of the murder senses something and becomes overwhelmed. Suzie watches from heaven is also overwhelmed, and somehow Suzie connects with her and the exchange positions. Ray senses Suzie’s presence, now in Ruth’s body, and takes advantage of the face that Suzie’s back for the time being. Both knowing their love for each other end up making love before Suzie returns to heaven. Eventually Suzie moves on, still watching events from earth from time to time and watching her family. She sees her sister’s new baby, Abigail Suzanne. Finally She watches as her killer finally dies. One day behind a diner Harvey approaches a young woman and attempts to speak to her. Suzie notices the icicles on the roof, and after the woman leaves watches as one falls, ultimately killing him. LINDSEY Lindsey salmon, Suzie’s sister, is one of the family member who attempts to suffer in silence, she wills herself to be strong for everyone else, especially her little brother. Yet her pain s obviously deep and her burden grow as her similarities to Suzie, make people see only the bloody body of her sister. Worse still her mother has shut her, as well as the rest of the family out, directly lies to her, and then leaves. She become the crutch for her brother to lean on, and tries to help her father regain his will to live, but cannot do so. Although Lindsey is strong throughout the book lives the life Suzie never had and it continuously binds her to her dead sister. She tries to help her father prove who they believe is the killer by breaking into his house and finding plans for the underground room he had killed Suzie in. Although Lindsey has many talents, which Suzie was always jealous of, after the death she I known as the sister of the dead girl and tried hard to break free of the past to become herself again , whilst still keeping the memory of her sister alive…. your the other salmon girl right? “. Said the neighbor in the book, Leaving some dramatic irony because we know, he is the murderer. JACK Suzie’s father jack , feels enormous guilt after the death of his little girl, he is devoted to her memory, and actively seeks her appearance and his memories of her in his other children. He is also faced with the loss of his wife Abigail, who leaves the family to resolve her own issues. Jack then has to rely on being the soul caretaker of his two remaining children and bearing the burdern of the loss of two of his loved ones. Jack also begins to obess over the killer, whio he belives is their neighbor George Harvey. Jack continues to insist to police that Mr harvey had something to do with his daughters dissapearence, but through leads and questioning he is not suspected until later in the book when it is too late. Jack ends up in the hospital twice throughout the book, once when attempting an attack on George Harvey, in the cornfelild that endedup in himself being injured and his attack on the wrong person. The second time later in the book because of a heart attack after beliving he saw suzie’s presence next to him. ABIGAIL SALMON throughout the book suzies mother Abigail grieves several things: the loss of her daughter, the collapse of her family and she grieves the life she never had the opertunity to live. She is profoundly uunhappy even before the tremendous pain of her daughters death to witch she tried to overcome. she begins to become selfish and unfeeling then withdraws herself from the family after having an affair with the decective investigating suzies case. In the end she reconises her faults and returns to attempot to rectify for her family. She is able to let go of suzie and walk away from her childish dreams. BUCKLEY As the little four year old brother of a murdered sister, he might have been depicted as just a kid who doesn’t understand what has happened. However, the author shows him as very wise child who not only depends on his father and Lindsey, but watches over them as well. He sees and talks to Susie and he holds her in his heart just like everyone else. The things he does in the book seem to help him but ultimately he does them for his sister and her memory. He saves the little, old shoe from the Monopoly game, because it’s what represented her, he plants a garden just for her. He still holds a grudge against him mother for abandoning him and the family he hones anger and hates his mother for a long time, because she left the family in a desperate time. But in the end, he too is ready to accept what has happened in the past and let it go. RUTH “and then as quickly as the rain had started, it ceased. Sun came through the branches of the tree above her, and Ruth looked up past them. “i think she listens,” she said, too softly to be heard”. Ruth is a young girl, somewhat of an outcast among the school, and after feeling Suzie’s sprit leave her body when she died, she begins to become fascinated. This has a profound impact on Ruth who spends the rest of her life seeing other girls and women who have been murdered. she records the deaths and sprits when and where she sees them. She wants to do it for Suzie and protect others from the same fate. ? Novel is filled with deep sorrow with the salmon family grieving over the death/ loss of their daughter and sister Suzie salmon. Insite into families dealing with grief. Lasting impression While the subject of lovely bones is depressing, it never comes across that way. “The book lovely bones comes across almost like a narrated photo album the description the author lays out, presents itself as carefully selected photos. ” Almost like a narrated photo album the description the author lays out, presents itself as carefully selected photos. The word used in her writing makes the book a very describitive read it makes it good for someone looking for an easier read, while understanding the meaning of the book as well. But the novel is appropriate for an audience who can understand the complexity of the feelings, her style of writing creates. The creative and descriptive writing contributes to the overall mood of the novel and the dark content plays a part in the tone, as well as the rough times, and trials Suzie’s family goes trough. AUTHOR Seabold is well known for her novel lucky, which addresses the topic of rape as shown in lovely bones. “This novel as well as Seabold’s other novel lucky, shines a light on the personal struggles Seabold faced after herself being beaten and brutally raped during her first year at university. It addresses real life horrors and issues concerning death, murder, suspicion and rape. She made such a real and believable character because of her experience, there was no need to create a mindset of a rape victim, because she already knew the feelings that occur from being a victim. ANTAGONIST On the surface, the antagonist is Mr. Harvey. After all, he is a serial killer with deep emotional problems. He is a danger to any young girl or woman whom he seeks to “free from her horrible life. ” However, another antagonist lies much deeper: grief and the guilt that partners with it. The Salmon family is not so much in a battle against the murderer of their daughter, And sister. In fact, they are at war with themselves and each other as they try to come to terms with the tragedy that has befallen their family. This war lasts eight years, until all involved have experienced every step of their grief, including Susie. IRONY Another element that is important to note is irony – when something happens, or is seen, or is heard that we may know, but the characters do not, or that appears opposite of what is expected. In this novel, irony often makes us stop for a moment and have that “What if? feeling about the characters. Some examples of irony include: 1. ) Mrs. Flanagan’s remarks, “What do you have in here? A dead body? ” when Mr. Harvey brings her the safe holding the actual body of Susie. She doesn’t know what the reader knows. 2. ) Mr. Salmon turns to his daughter for comfort rather than him comforting her, this, in spite of the fact that he feels guilty for not protecting Susie. 3. ) Mr. Harvey uses his victims’ names to refer to his imaginary wife. 4. ) Mrs. Salmon turns to inanimate objects for comfort – cigarettes, counting china and silve – rather than her family. 5. Jack Salmon envies a boy he has never met – Ray Singh – because the boy had done what he wishes he had done: tell Susie he loved her. 6. ) Ruana Singh is beautiful and sophisticated, but she tells Jack Salmon that if she were in his place, she would kill Mr. Harvey when the time was right. This is so opposite to the appearance she presents that it becomes ironic. 7. ) It’s ironic that Susie still believes rescue is possible, but she was unable to rescue herself. 8. ) Susie is in Heaven, but is still unhappy and feels alone. 9. ) Susie’s first sexual experience was so horrific while Lindsey’s is so loving. 0. ) It is ironic that Jack goes into the field to kill who he thinks is Mr. Harvey, but is attacked himself. 11. ) It is Lindsey, the child, singing a song of comfort to her father, rather than the other way around. 12. ) Mr. Harvey leaves his house to stalk other children and this is when Lindsey is able to enter that house to get evidence which might convict him. 13. ) Susie’s mother tells her one summer night that she looks invincible, but later Susie is murdered. 14. ) Samuel and Lindsey are looking for shelter from a storm and find the house of their dreams. 15. Jack comes to the same realization that Susie did when she saw the mysterious face of mother and took her picture: her mother was unhappy in her marriage and Jack didn’t see it when his children did. 16. ) Ruth is fascinated with places like the sinkhole and feels the need to see it one more time with Ray before it is filled in. This is Susie’s burial place even though they don’t know it. 17. ) Just when she is warring within herself over her desire for her father to die, Susie meets her long-dead grandfather and finds the comfort she needs to move away from that thought. 8. ) Buckley’s seeds – symbols of rebirth and a new beginning – trigger a heart attack that may actually mean death for Jack. 19. ) Susie had been afraid, as a little girl, that the sinkhole would swallow her and then it really did when Mr. Harvey buried her there in the iron safe. 20. ) It’s ironic that Susie’s charm bracelet is finally found when it’s no longer needed, not even by her. 21. ) Mr. Harvey’s death comes about because of the best murder weapon in Susie’s mind: the icicle, which she hoped Samuel and Lindsey would use for The Perfect Murder project.
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