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The Lovely Bones-BC Discussion #1

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Yay. I finished it last night. I'll post my thoughts this evening. And those who didn't give a book suggestion the first time you can email me one so we can get the next book. And yeah so far no guys in the group. Haha.

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First, about how I liked the book. It was really hard for me to get into. Then when I cracked the whip I read it really fast. I did like it but it was really sad. And now to J's questions


1.) In Susie's Heaven, she is surrounded by things that bring her peace. What would your Heaven be like? Is it surprising that in Susie's inward, personal version of the hereafter there is no God or larger being that presides?


I think my heaven would be a cottage by the ocean with books and swinging on the front porch with family and loved ones. And no I wasn't suprised there was no God in her heaven.


2.) Why does Ruth become Susie's main connection to Earth? Was it accidental that Susie touched Ruth on her way up to Heaven, or was Ruth actually chosen to be Susie's emotional conduit?


I don't know if I think it was intentional that she touched Ruth


3.) Rape is one of the most alienating experiences imaginable. Susie's rape ends in murder and changes her family and friends forever. Alienation is transferred, in a sense, to Susie's parents and siblings. How do they each experience loneliness and solitude after Susie's death?


Since none of them actually knew that Susie was raped I too found it not necessary for the plot. But I think each of them found lonelies and solitude but in the end they found solace in each other.


4.) Why does the author include details about Mr. Harvey's childhood and his memories of his mother? By giving him a human side, does Sebold get us closer to understanding his motivation? Sebold explained in an interview about the novel that murderers "are not animals but men," and that is what makes them so frightening. Do you agree?

I don't know why she did that but even with the details of childhood I didn't sympathize with him. I think no matter how rough your experiences are as a child nothing gives you the right to do something like that to someone else.


5.) Discuss the way in which guilt manifests itself in the various characters - Jack, Abigail, Lindsay, Mr. Harvey, Len Fenerman.


That would be a long answer hahaha


6.) "Pushing on the inbetween" is how Susie describes her efforts to connect with those she has left behind on Earth. Have you ever felt as though someone was trying to communicate with you from "the inbetween"?


Uh no?


7.) Does Buckley really see Susie, or does he make up a version of his sister as a way of understanding, and not being too emotionally damaged by, her death? How do you explain tragedy to a child? Do you think Susie's parents do a good job of helping Buckley comprehend the loss of his sister?


I think he does see her. It depends on the childs age on how to explain and I think his Dad did a good job with the monopoly board.


8.) Susie is killed just as she was beginning to see her mother and father as real people, not just as parents. Watching her parents' relationship change in the wake of her death, she begins to understand how they react to the world and to each other. How does this newfound understanding affect Susie?



9.) Can Abigail's choice to leave her family be justified?


I guess you could say it was grief. But I think that she should of been there for her children and husband.


10.) Why does Abigail leave her dead daughter's photo outside the Chicago Airport on her way back to her family?

For some reason I don't remember that. huh?


11.) 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?


I think to a point she's right. I think letting go is hard to do but with other children involved being strong and being there for them is important and it's not forgetting your loss.


12.) Susie's Heaven seems to have different stages, and climbing to the next stage of Heaven requires her to remove herself from what happens on Earth. What is this process like for Susie?


I think when she meets the other victims and she has the moments with Ray she is learning to let go.


13.) In The Lovely Bones, adult relationships (Abigail and Jack, Ray's parents) are dysfunctional and troubled, whereas the young relationships (Lindsay and Samuel, Ray and Susie, Ray and Ruth) all seem to have depth, maturity, and potential. What is the author saying about young love? About the trials and tribulations of married life?


That young love is innocent and pure. I think Abigail still loved Jack but she didn't know how to deal with it.


14.) Is Jack Salmon allowing himself to be swallowed up by his grief? Is there a point where he should have let go? How does his grief process affect his family? Is there something admirable about holding on so tightly to Susie's memory and not denying his profound sadness?


I think yes he did get swallowed up. I don't know if it's admirable but very sad.


15.) Ray and Susie's final physical experience (via Ruth's body) seems to act almost as an exorcism that sweeps away, if only temporarily, Susie's memory of her rape. What is the significance of this act for Susie, and does it serve to counterbalance the violent act that ended Susie's life?

I think so. She got to see how beautiful it can be with someone she loved and have that to remember in heaven instead of her rape.


16.) 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?

Yes I do.

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