Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Franny is a flat, minor character in Alice Sebold’s novel The Lovely Bones. When Susie is murdered suddenly at the hands of her neighbor Mr. Harvey, she discovers that the afterlife is much different than many believe it to be.

Because of the tragic circumstances of her death, Susie must come to terms with her mortality before she can truly be at peace. As such, Susie arrives in her own personal heaven, also known as the first heaven. Somewhat like purgatory, the first heaven allows Susie to see and even intervene in things happening on earth.

When Susie first arrives in heaven, Holly introduces her to Franny, a former therapist during her life. Franny is one part guide and one part counselor. She gives Susie all the information about how the different heavens work and how Susie can finally move on to the next one.

Franny is kind, but she’s also very straightforward. She matter-of-factly dismisses Susie’s requests, like wanting to be able to grow up. This annoys Susie at first, but as time passes, she begins to understand Franny’s wisdom.

Franny gives Susie the following sage advice:

If you stop asking why you were killed instead of someone else, stop investigating the vacuum left by your loss, stop wondering what everyone left on Earth is feeling . . . you can be free.

This quote echoes one of the novel’s themes: the nature of healing.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial