The Lovely Bones Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Lovely Bones

Fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon is raped and murdered by a man living in her home town. Her story begins in heaven where she relates what happened to her, and watches her family on earth as they try to heal, and cope with the fact that her killer may never be brought to justice.
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Susie still longs to be able to grow into adulthood. In her heaven, this wish seems impossible, until at one point she is able to switch places with Ruth, a school companion, and spends a brief, romantic reunion with Ray, her teenage crush.

During her family's time of grief, Susie's parents, her sister, Lindsay, and her brother, Buckley, at first retreat into themselves, pushing each other out instead of drawing closer. As the mystery surrounding Susie's disappearance and murder remains unsolved, Susie's mother leaves, her grandmother moves in, and her father spends some time in the hospital. Susie grieves with them, hurting when they hurt, and learning to smile again in the sudden, surprising moments of joy they experience as time goes on and they find happiness in loving each other again.

The review of this Book prepared by Megan Elaine Davis

The story starts after a teenage girl, Susie, is murdered. Even though according to the story she is in heaven, Susie has a friend who is her age, she wishes she hadn't died so young and she misses her family, so she watches them, along with a couple of friends from school and other people in her community, including her killer.
Susie watches her family go through changes because of her death, watches how her friends cope, and watches her killer to see if he gets caught.
The review of this Book prepared by Crystal

"The Lovely Bones" is the story of Susie Salmon's death. We experience Susie's exploration of her afterlife in her own Heaven. We, through Susie, are able to witness the transformation of each family member.

The father searches for his daughter's killer while the mother turns to another for the comfort her husband can't give. The sister withdraws from her once carefree life and her young brother struggles to understand why Susie isn't coming back.

As the struggle to accept and conform to life after the death of Susie Salmon, each family member forms the "bones" that are needed to accept a life after their loved one has been tragically murdered while Susie watches from above and experiences her own transformation.

The review of this Book prepared by Grace30923

"The Lovely Bones" is a book about the aftermath of the kidnapping and murder of a teenage girl, as told by the dead girl herself. The story follows her, after her death, as she views the struggles of her family and friends to accept her loss and identify (and hopefully punish) her killer. Her father believes (correctly) that he knows who killed his daughter, but has trouble convincing the police that he is correct. Driven by her loss, the girl's mother leaves home to start a new life for herself on the opposite coast, while her remaining children grow up without her. She watches herfamily and friends learn to cope with her loss, and continue with their own lives.
The review of this Book prepared by Wendy S.

Suzie Salmon was raped and murdered on her way home from school. She was fourteen years old. She narrates this book from heaven, which is not like the heaven most of us are expecting. From her heaven Suzie watches her friends, family and the man who murdered her. The narrative runs from the day of Suzie's death till about ten years later. It takes her family that long to start getting on with their lives. This is a book of hope for families that have lost a member prematurely; we see their lives, their grieving and their coming to terms with their loss.
The review of this Book prepared by Penny

“The lovely bones” is a unique and meaningful book which offers enlightenment on how difficult it is to cope with the loss of a child to violent crime. As Susie Salmon watches from heaven, her family disintegrates in response to her death. Over the years, she watches and comments on her family and friend's painful journey from despair, grief, anger, frustration and the desire for revenge, towards healing, recovery, acceptance and forgiveness.
The review of this Book prepared by Alison

When we first meet Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. When she looks down from this strange new place, she tells us, in the fresh and spirited voice of a now fourteen year old girl, a tale that is haunting and full of hope.

Following her death, Susie watches life continue without her from above. Her school friends are trading rumors about her disappearance, her family holding out hope that she'll be found, and her killer is trying to cover his tracks. As months pass without leads, Susie sees her parents' marriage being contorted by loss, her sister hardening herself in an effort to stay strong, and little brother trying to grasp the meaning of the word gone.

As she explores heaven, it looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. There are counselors to help newcomers adjust and friends to room with. Whatever she wants appears before she thinks of it-except the thing she wants most: to be back with the people she loved on earth.

With compassion, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie sees her loved ones pass through grief and begin to mend. Her father embarks on a quest that is very risky to ensnare her killer. Her sister takes undertakes a feat of remarkable daring. And the boy Susie cared for moves on, only to find himself in the middle of a miraculous event.

This is one of the most unusual books I have ever read before. The descriptions of heaven may be a bit unrealistic, but it was a great book for the most part.
The review of this Book prepared by Boppy

Chapter Analysis of The Lovely Bones

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Crime & Police story    -   Yes Story of    -   catching a killer Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Loss of...    -   child/children Religion theme?    -   Yes Religion theme:    -   musings from the afterlife

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () United States    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   rape/molest Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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