illustration of Susie in the clouds with her charm bracelet above her head

The Lovely Bones

by Alice Sebold
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After the grandmother arrives, she has an immediate impact on the energy in the house. She particularly influences Lindsay. How did she accomplish this? Describe her and her actions.

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Written by American writer Alice Sebold in 2002, The Lovely Bones is the story of murdered fourteen-year-old girl Susie Salmon. After Susie is raped and murdered by her neighbor George Harvey, in December 1973, she watches her friends and family from heaven. The story is narrated by Susie in the first person.

Grandma Lynn is Susie’s grandmother and Abigail Salmon’s mother. She is a flamboyant and vain character, who likes a drink and a flirt. Despite loving her daughter Abigail very much, they have a troubled relationship. As such, she doesn’t visit the Salmon home often. However, after Susie’s death, Grandma Lynn attends her memorial and helps to lift the family’s spirits. As an example, she gives Abigail and Lindsey. Susie says this about her:

When I was alive, everything my grandmother did was bad. But an odd thing happened when she arrived in her rented limo that day, opened up our house, and barged in. She was, in all her obnoxious finery, dragging the light back in.

It is Grandma Lynn that suspects her daughter is having an affair. When Abigail runs away to west California, she moves into the Salmon home, into Susie’s old room, to support her son-in-law and help him to raise her thirteen-year-old granddaughter Lindsey and four-year-old grandson Buckley. Grandma Lynn soon becomes the family matriarch. Her positive attitude helps them put their lives back together. Also, Grandma Lynn recognizes George Harvey as the killer.

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