In The Lovely Bones, Susie is the narrator. She is fourteen years old and the eldest of the three Salmon children. Susie is raped and murdered by her Mr Harvey her neighbour as she walks home from school. She is a young girl with lots of dreams, one of which is to be a wildlife photographer. Susie has a very strong relationship with her father and she is close to her sister Lindsey. She enjoys being the older sister to her little brother Buckley. She loves and understands her mother.
Susie role in the novel is to observe and reflect. At times she does make her presence known to the living in various ways. One example would be when Susie is with Lindsey as she searches Mr. Harvey’s house and she leads her sister into the upstairs rooms. Susie is deeply loved and in The Lovely Bones much of what happens occurs because of someone longing for or searching for Susie. It is important to note that although it may happen indirectly, Susie influences decisions and outcomes in the novel.
In The Lovely Bones the struggle for Susie is to work out what it is to be dead. In the novel her sister Lindsey must learn how to grow up and figure out what it means to live. Susie must cope with what it means not to grow up; she has to learn what it means to be dead. Susie learns that she is on a journey and the dead, like the living, must let go. This is very hard for Susie as she desperately wants to live.
Susie does find a way to return to earth, through Ruth. Susie wants to kiss Ray one more time to see where that kiss would lead. Ruth wants to understand the dead, she wants to see them. After this happens Susie is able to watch her family heal and become a new family. This new family is one that she is and is not a part of.