Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Lovely Bones: Introduction
The Lovely Bones: Plot Summary
The Lovely Bones: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Lovely Bones: Themes
The Lovely Bones: Quotes
The Lovely Bones: Characters
The Lovely Bones: Symbols
The Lovely Bones: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Alice Sebold
Historical Context of The Lovely Bones
Other Books Related to The Lovely Bones
- Full Title: The Lovely Bones
- When Written: Mid-to-late 1990s
- Where Written: California, USA
- When Published: 2002
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Fiction; thriller; literary fiction
- Setting: Norristown, PA
- Climax: Susie Salmon, after nearly a decade of longingly watching her friends’ and family’s lives on Earth go on without her, switches places—and bodies—with her high school classmate Ruth Connors, whom she had previously “passed by” on her way up to heaven directly after her murder. Ruth ascends to heaven, where her dedication to honoring the deaths of murdered women is lauded and appreciated at last, while Susie, in possession of Ruth’s body, reconnects with and makes love to her high school sweetheart Ray Singh.
- Antagonist: George Harvey
- Point of View: First-person; third-person omniscient
Extra Credit for The Lovely Bones
Bones at the Box Office. In 2009, visionary New Zealand director Peter Jackson—best known for his film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit—brought Susie Salmon’s story to the big screen. Jackson assembled an all-star cast including Saorsie Ronan as Susie, Stanley Tucci as George Harvey, and Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz as Jack and Abigail. Jackson’s first major feature film, Heavenly Creatures, dealt with similar themes and motifs—everyday violence, the concerns of teenage girls, and perceptions of the afterlife—and featured Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet in her first film role ever.