The effect that Susie Salmon's death has on her family is life-changing to say the least. All are completely shaken and unable to function in their day-to-day lives to varying degrees. As Susie was only fourteen when she was raped and murdered by George Harvey, her death was not only untimely but cruelly violent as well.
When Susie originally goes missing, her family operates in a state of denial, unwilling to believe that she is truly dead. It is not until the police bring Susie's parents a number of her personal items, most notably her hat, that they are at last hit with the brutal reality their daughter's death.
Aside from both being terribly stricken by grief, both of Susie's parents seem to take her death quite personally. Jack, Susie's father, feels indirectly responsible for Susie's death, consistently obsessing over what he could or should have done to prevent it. Abigail, Susie's mother, reflects on her years of yearning for freedom from the life of being a mother and wife. In...
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