The Lovely Bones

how is the mystery solved

in the stiry how did they find the muderer. How was the mystery solved


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The three traditional formats of a plot with a dead narrator are biography (when told post-mortem this is known as autothanatography), murder mystery or ghost story. Sebold’s novel does not conform to any of these—the story is not a biography of Susie’s life, it is not a mystery, because she tells us her killer in the first chapter, and it cannot be exclusively classified as a ghost story either—but it may be a combination of the three. The Lovely Bones does fit one aspect of the after-death narration, as classified by scholar Alice Bennett: the meaning of the story lies in the end. From the after-death point of view, Susie is able to gather her own evidence about her family and her murder. In essence, she solves the “mystery” of her own life. Bennett asserts, “The conclusion of death writing is non-existence and absence, not fully realized presence” (465-66). This proves to be true for The Lovely Bones; at the end of the novel, the answer of how Susie’s murder and loss is resolved is presented in the figurative “lovely bones” that Susie sees growing in her absence.