The Lovely Bones focuses on the Salmon Family and Susie's friends, presenting an intimate portrait of a family struggling to find out what happened while not crumbling to pieces after the death of Susie. Susie also lets the reader in on what her own hopes and dreams had been, her longing to be reunited with her family, and her desire to help her father catch the man who killed her. I will say, though, that while early on the quest to prove the guilt of Mr. Harvey plays a large part in how the book's events unfold, the urgency disappears to almost nothing as the story moves along. Glimpses of Harvey sprinkle the latter pages, almost as if he is no longer as important to the story. And that's probably correct in the scheme of things; the relationships with Susie's family and friends should take precedence. (Maybe that's just the horror fan in me, wanting Susie to be able to use her ghostly powers to bring about Harvey's end.)
I enjoyed reading The Lovely Bones and recommend it.
The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold
Little, Brown and Company
hard cover, 328 pgs.