The Lovely Bones

Grandma Lynn Character Analysis

Abigail’s mother Lynn is loud and larger-than-life, and her appearances at the Salmon household, though rare, are always fraught. Though outlandish, superficial, and slightly self-absorbed, Grandma Lynn cares deeply for her daughter, Jack, Lindsey, and Buckley, and does all she can to help them put their lives back together in the wake of Susie’s death. Grandma Lynn senses that her daughter is having an affair, but is ultimately powerless to shake Abigail out of it. Once Abigail leaves for California, Grandma Lynn comes to stay, moving into Susie’s old room and taking on the role of the Salmon family matriarch in her daughter’s absence.
Get the entire The Lovely Bones LitChart as a printable PDF.
The lovely bones.pdf.medium

Grandma Lynn Character Timeline in The Lovely Bones

The timeline below shows where the character Grandma Lynn appears in The Lovely Bones. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...and Jack nods his head. He then makes a phone call to Abigail’s mother, Grandma Lynn. (full context)
 Chapter 7
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...the keys from their hiding place, and sped all the way to the hospital. Grandma Lynn predicted that Susie would have a long, healthy life, since she had saved her brother’s;... (full context)
Chapter 9
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Grandma Lynn arrives in Norristown the evening before Susie’s memorial. Grandma Lynn always hires a limousine from... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
As Grandma Lynn pulls up to the house, she calls out to Jack, who is sitting on the... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Without her coat, Grandma Lynn is thin and “starved down.” She used to constantly tell Susie and Lindsey that they,... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
After dinner, Lynn joins Abigail at the sink, and tells her that she “needs some help.” Abigail thinks... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Grandma Lynn appears in the doorway and asks Lindsey to zip up her dress. After Lindsey helps... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...the church door, dressed in all black. His older brother Hal stands beside him. Grandma Lynn introduces herself to Samuel as “the evil grandma,” and then the Salmons, together with the... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...At the end of the service, as the family stands for the final hymn, Grandma Lynn leans over to Lindsey and whispers to her, telling her to look toward the door.... (full context)
Chapter 13
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Grandma Lynn arrives on the Monday before Thanksgiving, and immediately intuits that something is wrong with her... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Lynn asks Abigail to promise her that she will stop seeing the man she is seeing,... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
As Grandma Lynn passes by George Harvey’s house on the way home, she senses something evil radiating from... (full context)
Chapter 14
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
When Lindsey walks in the front door of her own home Jack, Abigail, Grandma Lynn, and Samuel are sitting together, worried sick that she has come home late. Lindsey breathlessly... (full context)
Snapshots
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...cakes, and casseroles on the front porch for the Salmons. One afternoon that fall, Grandma Lynn calls and says she has been thinking about coming to stay. Jack argues that their... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Grandma Lynn gives Buckley a book about gardening. Abigail calls from California every once in a while.... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...Nate, and Holiday the dog inside. Hal helps Buckley to waterproof the fort, and Grandma Lynn develops a little crush on the handsome young Hal. (full context)
Chapter 17
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...that Lindsey and Samuel will be all right and reminding him that Hal and Grandma Lynn are still downstairs. Buckley leaves, and Jack flips through a stack of photos—the last of... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
At four o’clock, while Hal and Lynn are baking brownies in the kitchen, the doorbell rings. It is Lindsey and Samuel at... (full context)
Chapter 18
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...Buckley rushes to Jack, but then realizes he needs help, and goes to get Grandma Lynn. As Jack lies in the grass, helpless, he says aloud that he has never chosen—he... (full context)
Chapter 19
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...Philadelphia. When she lands in Chicago, she calls the hospital and asks to speak to Lynn; she lets her mother know that she is on her way. Lynn reveals that Jack... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Grandma Lynn tiptoes out of the room and into the waiting area, intercepting a nurse carrying a... (full context)
Chapter 21
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...Ray. She was afraid of what she wanted most—his kiss. Susie remembers talking with Grandma Lynn on the phone about kissing—Grandma Lynn described one’s first kiss as “destiny knocking.” Susie revealed... (full context)
Chapter 23
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...changed—but she notes that it will change again and again, endlessly, over the years. Grandma Lynn offers to make everybody drinks while Hal teaches Buckley the drums. As Lynn places ice... (full context)
Bones
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...leaving when they choose to leave you. You’re not meant to.” She notes that Grandma Lynn died several years later, but Susie has not seen her in heaven—she is sure that... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...gift of something to marvel at. Susie’s parents eventually give her possessions, along with Grandma Lynn’s, to Goodwill. They don’t let go of Susie entirely, and continue to share with one... (full context)