What is the significance of the title of the novel "The Lovely Bones"?

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amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The title is significant as it refers to Susie Salmon, the young fourteen-year-old girl who is brutally raped, murdered, and dismembered in the book.  The bones for which her family and the police search are hers, and as she is so innocent and vulnerable when her attacker pounces, they are described as lovely.  The title goes further to include the bones of all the girls who were victims of Susie's serial killer, Mr. Harvey.  All the girls were innocents and suffered violent and undeserved crimes. Susie meets the other girls in heaven, and as she watches from heaven, she observes events as they unfold in her old neighborhood...including her younger sister, Lindsey, breaking in to Mr. Harvey's house to find evidence of his crime.  Not everything that happens in the book is lovely, but the prose is beautiful and it takes the reader through the pain Susie and her family suffer bringing us all out on the other side changed forever.

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The Lovely Bones

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