Free Study Guide The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold|
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THE LOVELY BONES BOOK REVIEW / NOTES
Grandma Lynn arrives for Thanksgiving and with her razor-sharp intuition, she sees something different about Abigail. She insists on helping her daughter with the dishes where she tells her she knows something is going on that isn’t kosher. Then, Grandma Lynn forces Abigail to take a walk with her where she tells Abigail that her father had had an affair. Through this revelation, Grandma Lynn sees nuggets of truth beginning to come out between them. She tries to get Abigail to promise her that she’ll never see the man she’s been with again. But Abigail only says that she wants to use her father’s cabin if she needs to get away for awhile. Then, Abigail smells the smoke of foreign cigarettes and tells her mother she is going to find them. Grandma Lynn heads home while Abigail comes upon Ruana Singh.
The two women smoke together while upstairs in the Singh house, Ray smells the smoke but is unaware that Susie’s mother is with his own. He wishes he could have that moment on the scaffold to do over again. He thinks if he had only kissed Susie, things might have turned out differently. As for Grandma Lynn, she walks by Mr. Harvey’s house on her way back and she knows that Jack is right. There is a malevolence radiating from that house. Her thoughts of her daughter are sympathetic ones, because Abigail is living in the middle of “ground zero” and there is nothing Lynn can do to help her.
That night Abigail dreams of India where a young girl is led to a funeral
pyre and burned alive. This burning pulls her mother into a dream-like
bliss, because even though she was burning, the girl first had a body
that was clean and whole. Abigail thinks she herself does not.
Susie gives us a serious picture of how the family’s grief is tearing them apart. Jack wants to go back to work for the distraction it will bring while Abigail can only think of Len Fenerman. When her father tries to repair their lives by bonding again with Buckley, he is instantly jolted back to reality by Lindsey’s shaving her legs. He realizes Susie will always be forever short of growing up. Grandma Lynn tries to repair the pain by talking over with Abigail her “affair.” Abigail avoids discussing the truth and Lynn is left to the realization that there is nothing she can do for her own daughter but sympathize.
Also, the chapter presents Lindsey’ willingness to help her father get into George Harvey’s house, something she can do to help ease his pain. Ray is revealed in a pain of his own - a what-if - where his kissing Susie that day at school might have in some way prevented her death.
Abigail’s dream is consistent with her own needs. She wants the young whole complete body and a new beginning for her life.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on The Lovely Bones".
. 09 May 2017