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The title of the novel has thematic significance pertaining to the theme of grief. The bones are “lovely” because they are what remain of the narrator who was deeply loved by and loved and continues to love her family, as they do her. From her position after death, she watches her family grieve, even as she grieves herself, and while she cannot change the events in life, her observation of them adds to the healing process, both hers and that of her family. While “bones” suggest death, the narrator seems very much alive throughout the story, and the word “lovely” contributes to this. We tend to think of death as something frightening, and the bones of the dead as something to avoid, but by calling them “lovely bones” the author changes these connotations, softening our dread of death. Indeed, as the commentary at the link provided below explains, the author blurs the lines between what constitutes life and death” by having a dead narrator tell the story.
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