The Lovely Bones

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The Lovely Bones: In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swing sets. With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief, her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor and begin the difficult process of healing.

Alice Sebold is the bestselling author of the novels The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon, and Lucky, a memoir. She lives in California with her husband, the novelist Glen David Gold.

Quote from the Book:“These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections-sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent-that happened after I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it. The events that my death wrought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous body had been my life.”


Alice Sebold seems to be saying that out of tragedy comes healing. Susie’s family fractures and comes back together, a town learns to find strength in each other. Do you agree that good can come of great trauma?

Susie observes that “The living deserve attention, too.” She watches her sister, Lindsay, being neglected as those around her focus all their attention on grieving for Susie. Jack refuses to allow Buckley to use Susie’s clothes in his garden. When is it time to let go?

More discussion questions can be found here.


Consider watching the movie version together  after reading the book and discuss the differences.  What would you have changed?  Would you have cast the movie differently?


If you were casting this movie after reading the book, who would you have picked to play the parts of Susie, Jack, Abigail and Mr. Harvey?
Answer in the comments below.