What do Ruana and Mrs. Salmon have in common?

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ruana and Mrs. Salmon do not have a lot in common, however, they are both mothers, and on a heart level, they understand each other. While taking a walk in the woods with her mother, Abigal Salmon smells foreign cigarettes. She follows the trail of the smell, and she finds Ruana Singh. The two women smoke together and talk. Their conversation leads Mrs. Salmon to have a dream about India that night, in which a young girl is burned on a funeral pyre.

Later in the novel, Ruana Singh receives a phone call from her husband, Dr. Singh, who is calling to say that he will not be home for dinner - again. So Ruana begins to exercise to deal with an absent husband and a son who is growing up way too fast than she would like. Ruana wishes she could escape, but she has her own form of escape--through exercising. Mrs. Salmon also wants  to escape her world, just like Mrs. Singh.

Both women feel trapped. Ruana would never walk away from her son however, no matter how unhappy she is. Abigail, on the other hand, will eventually leave her family and not have any regrets about it for a very long time.

Read the analysis of the novel here on enotes.

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The Lovely Bones

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