The Lovely Bones


  • Susie Salmon, a 14-year-old girl who is raped and murdered in the first chapter. She narrates the novel from Heaven, witnessing the events on earth and experiencing hopes and longings for the everyday things she can no longer do.
  • Jack Salmon, her father, who works for an insurance agency in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. After Susie's death, he is consumed with guilt at having failed to save her.
  • Abigail Salmon, her mother, whose growing family responsibilities frustrate her youthful dreams. After her daughter's death, she leaves her husband and moves to California, but returns years later.
  • Lindsey Salmon, Susie's younger sister by one year. She tries to help her father investigate Harvey.
  • Buckley Salmon, Susie's younger brother by 10 years. His unplanned birth forced Abigail to cancel her plans for a teaching career. He sometimes sees Susie while she watches him in her heaven.
  • Grandma Lynn, Abigail's mother, an eccentric alcoholic who comes to live with the Salmons when her son-in-law asks her to help Abigail cope with Susie's death. After Abigail leaves, Lynn helps raise her grandchildren.
  • George Harvey, the Salmons' neighbor. A serial killer of young girls, he murders Susie and goes unpunished, even though the Salmons come to suspect him. He eventually leaves Norristown to escape the investigation and continues killing as he moves across the country. Years later, he dies in an accident while stalking a potential victim. Throughout the novel Susie refers to him as Mr. Harvey, the name she had addressed him by in life.
  • Ruth Connors, a classmate whom Susie's spirit touches as Susie leaves the earth. Ruth becomes fascinated with Susie, despite having barely known her while she was alive, and begins writing about seeing visions of the dead.
  • Ray Singh, a boy from India (via England), the first and only boy to kiss Susie, who later becomes Ruth's friend. He is first suspected by the police of murdering Susie, but he later proves his alibi. He is the one Susie spends her short time on earth with that she is granted years after her death.
  • Ruana Singh, Ray's mother, with whom Abigail Salmon sometimes smokes cigarettes.
  • Samuel Heckler, Lindsey's boyfriend and later her husband.
  • Hal Heckler, Sam's older brother who runs a motorcycle repair shop.
  • Len Fenerman, the police detective in charge of investigating Susie's death. His wife commits suicide some time before the events of the novel take place, and he later has an affair with Abigail.
  • Clarissa, Susie's best friend, whom Susie explains that she admires, because Clarissa was always allowed to do things Susie was not, like wear platform shoes and smoke.
  • Nate, Buckley's best friend, who screams for help when he's choking.
  • Brian, Clarissa's boyfriend. He sees Jack Salmon holding a bat, with a distraught Clarissa nearby. He assumes Clarissa is Jack's victim and takes the bat, beating up Jack.
  • Holly, Susie's best friend in heaven. While the text does not say so explicitly, it is implied she is Vietnamese American. She has no accent and took her name from Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
  • Franny, a middle aged woman who worked as a social worker before being shot. She becomes Susie and Holly's mentor in their Heaven.
  • Mr. Dewitt, the boys' soccer coach at school. Mr. Dewitt encourages Lindsey, a successful athlete, to try out for his team.
  • Mrs. Dewitt, Mr. Dewitt's wife, an English teacher at Susie's school. She teaches both Lindsey and Susie.
  • Holiday, Susie's dog.

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