In "Lovely Bones", what are the ways each of the Salmons mourn Suzie's death?

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Each of the Salmons mourns Suzie's death differently.  Her mother Abigail, an intelligent and well-educated woman, has had difficulties reconciling the demands of motherhood and her own aspirations before the murder, but the loss of her daughter deeply unsettles her.  She responds to her grief through detachment and by seeking escape; she leaves the family, enters into an affair with a man she does not love, and eventually moves away to California. 

Suzie's father Jack mourns Suzie's death through activity, providing comfort to the surviving members of the family and insisting on being involved in the investigation of the murder. He retains a strong connection to his daughter even after her death, and eventually discovers he must learn to let go in order to carry on.

Buckley, the youngest Salmon, is only four when Suzie dies and his mother leaves.  He becomes sullen and angry, developing deep emotional defenses which are not completely resolved by the end of the story.

Lindsey Salmon was very close to Suzie, and is deeply affected by her sister's death.  She refuses to become known as "the dead girl's sister", however, and, through strength and determination, manages to find her own identity and pursue her aspirations.  Of all the Salmons, Lindsey is able to respond to the traumatic loss in the most positive way, moving beyond Suzie's death without leaving her memory behind.

Read the study guide:
The Lovely Bones

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question