Summary and Analysis: Preface, Chapters 1-5


This one paragraph summarizes one of Susie Salmon's memories of time spent with her father: him turning a snow globe that had a penguin in it.

Though readers don't know it on first reading, as the novel progresses this image becomes a metaphor for Susie's life: her world is turned upside down by forces larger than herself, and she is trapped in a perfect world (heaven), but still upset.

Chapter 1:

Susie Salmon is narrating the story of her own murder from beyond the grave. She was killed on December 6, 1973, by a neighbor named Mr. Harvey. Mr. Harvey rapes and kills Susie after luring her to a secret hiding place—an...

(The entire section is 994 words.)