The Lovely Bones

How does Susie change over time in the book?

What makes her change? Where does she get help from to change?

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At the novel's beginning we meet Susie in Heaven. We learn she's been murdered in a time "when people believed things like that didn't happen." She was fourteen, innocent, naive, and typical for her age, but her innocence and naivete wasn't to last. Her life ended brutally.

One of Susie's main desires in her "own" heaven (everyone's heaven was depicted as different) was to grow up. She watched her family, her friends, and listened to the rumors. She saw her murderer walking free. Not long after, she watched her mother and father's marital difficulties and saw her father's obsession with finding her killer.

Amazingly, in Susie's Heaven, she can touch the people she loves in small ways. She also feels their hurts. Over time, Susie comes to grips with everything that has happened. She experiences some of the things she most desired through her loved ones, and she hung around long enough to see that those she left behind were moving on and coping with the horror of losing her. Susie is only able to move on after she has experienced her own grief and seen the healing of her family. In turn, her decision to move on allows them to finally live their own lives again. So the biggest change for Susie is maturation. By the time the book ends she realizes that it isn't all about her...... that her family doesn't have to think about her 24/7 to love her, that they need to be allowed to live their lives and so does she. She has a heavenly life ahead of her and someday she may see them again.


The Lovely Bones