Susie was fourteen years old when she died. She’d been on her way home from school when
a neighbor, George Harvey, stopped her to show her something. He wanted her to see the hole
in the ground he’d dug. It looked like a shelter built underground so that the person hiding
within would be protected. But that didn’t happen to Susie. Instead, George Harvey raped
and murdered her. The only thing he left was one of her elbows, which had been severed from
the body when he cut it up. He buried her in a sinkhole some ways away from the town,
somewhere she’d never be found.
Susie had been living with her parents as well as her younger sister, Lindsay, and her
little brother, Buckley. Susie’s disappearance almost tore the family apart. Her father
sank into severe depression, grieving for daddy’s little girl. He even seemed to neglect
the other two children. And Lindsay, who looked like Susie, was a constant reminder to her
mother of the child she’d lost. Only Buckley seemed not to be affected. Of course, he saw
Susie around the house. She’d been gone for a while, but she’d come back.
The Lovely Bones is a story written from the point of view of Susie. Her
description of her heaven, at least the temporary one until as she got to go to the real
heaven, was quite different from what I’d expected. This one wasn’t perfect, and she could
watch her family and interact with them if they saw her. Not all of them would admit they
The story is well written and is a perfect example of what grief can do to a family.
It’s also a lesson to young girls to watch where they go. Pick up The Lovely Bones
and listen to a familiar story told in an entirely different way. It’ll keep you awake.