“The Lovely Bones” begins with the death of it’s main character, 14 year old Susie Salmon, who is raped and murdered by a serial killer while walking home through a cornfield on a cold December day. The novel follows Susie into her afterlife, which for her is school where it’s always recess. Susie, who narrates the story, still clings to her mortal life and follows what happens to her family and her killer after her death. Her father, Jack becomes obsessed with the murder and finding the murderer. Susie’s mother withdraws from the family, while, her younger sister, Lindsey, worries that she will be forever known as the girl with the murdered sister and their brother Buckley, struggles with the ideas of life and death.
Despite it’s subject matter, the novel is uplifting and gives the reader the opportunity to speculate on the question of life and what follows after.