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Susie then sees that once again the hope of “Mr. Harvey’s capture begins to diminish just as the end of her family ignites.” Len Fenerman is not available to Jack, because Abigail has called him and asked him to meet her. He goes immediately, because try as he might, he just can’t say no to her. They meet at the mall where she leaves Buckley in the children’s play area. Len sees her in a trashy store called Spencer’s where he gently touches her back and then turns and begins to walk away. She follows him into the inner workings of the mall. The sounds in there are reminiscent of a large heart and Abigail imagines herself inside her own. That reminds her of a doctor’s visit where Jack had been sitting on the examination table and the doctor had been warning them of congestive heart failure. The memory very nearly causes her to let go in grief when suddenly the hallway through which she is walking dead-ends in a huge room where Len is waiting for her. He looks for the need in her “ocean eyes,” the same eyes that attracted Jack and in which he “could now drown.” If he had not reached out and touched her hand again, Susie thinks, “I might have kept her to myself. Susie is dazed as she watches them embrace, because at the exact moment her mother is cheating on her father, Mr. Harvey, her murderer, is easily escorting the police from his home. However, she also knows that the kisses and the caresses she watches ‘call her mother away from her and from her family and from her grief.’” They were ruinous and marvelous at the same time.
While Len leads her to place where they can make love, Mr. Harvey is
packing his belongings, Buckley is playing hula-hoop, Samuel and Lindsey
are laying nervously on her bed, Grandma Lynn is downing three shots in
the dining room, and her father watches the phone. Mr. Harvey leaves his
house for the last time while her mother is “granted her temporal wish.
To find a doorway out of her ruined heart, in merciful adultery.”
It is obvious from George Harvey’s childhood memories that his mother impacted on who he became in a very strong way: he fears being caught for his sins, because of the shoplifting incidence, and he probably kills women and children to save them from he believes are terrible lives. Women and children were the two worst things to be. He has spent his entire life trying to earn his mother’s love which he only feels when he shoplifts for her. This seems to transfer to the murders he commits, because he wants his victims to tell him they love him and then, he kills them to set them free. Fortunately for him, after Lindsey steals the sketch, he is able to convince the police long enough for him to get away.
Abigail’s behavior in the mall is both infuriating and poignant. She has betrayed her family in the most unacceptable way and by being with Len, she keeps him away from an opportunity to capture Harvey. And yet, we feel how she seeks him out to help her deal with her pain. She turns away from her family, because she cannot accept their obsession with Susie, but also because they represent to her the loss of what she most desired in life. They are chains she cannot seem to break, so Len is the key so helping her grant the wish to “step out of her ruined heart.”
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on The Lovely Bones".
. 09 May 2017