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PLOT
Coming from a typical suburban lifestyle, 14 year old, Susie
Salmon, is raped and brutally murdered by 35 year old
neighbour, George Harvey. Susie watches from the
`Inbetween' as her family and friends learn to cope with her
death and her murderer continues a seemingly normal life.
She sees her family slowly fall apart as her Dad obsesses
over finding her killer, her mother abandons them, her
sister falls in love and tries her hardest to start her own
family and her brother (who was 4 at the time) grows up
never fully understanding what happened to his sister or
why his family is so broken.…read more

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CONTEXT
Sebold's inspiration for the book came from her own
experiences from when she was attacked whilst studying to
write at university in New York.
Other than the difference in age and the fact that Sebold
survived her attack, there seems to be a lot of similarities
between the main character and Sebold herself.
Sebold once said in an interview about the book : "I was
motivated to write about violence because I believe it's not
unusual. I see it as just a part of life, and I think we get in
trouble when we separate people who've experienced it
from those who haven't. Though it's a horrible experience,
it's not as if violence hasn't affected many of us."…read more

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CHARACTERS
Sebold seems to use the
SUSIE ­ Main Character, Narrator majority of the main
MR HARVEY ­ Susie's murderer. characters as examples of how
JACK ­ Susie's Dad (Vengeful) grief and death can affect a
person.
ABIGAIL ­ Susie's Mother (Runs away)
LINDSEY ­ Susie's younger sister (Keeps emotions bottled up
and carries on)
BUCKLEY ­ Susie's baby brother (Tragedy for children)
GRANDMA LYNN ­ Abigail's Mother (Family Support)
RUTH ­ Susie's friend from school (Supernatural)
RAY ­ Susie's love interest (Keeps her memory alive)
DETECTIVE FENERMAN ­ Detective in charge of the murder
case
SAMUEL ­ Lindsey's boyfriend
HOLLY ­ Susie's friend from the inbetween (Harvey's victim)…read more

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THEMES
Love After Death/Loss/Guilt
Reaction to Susie's Death
"The guilt on him (Jack), the hand of God pressing down on him, saying, You
were not there when your daughter needed you. "
"Loss could be used as a measure of beauty in a woman"
Loss of Abigail
"He (Buckley) had been keeping, daily, weekly, yearly, an underground storage room
of hate. Deep inside this, the four-year-old sat, his heart flashing. Heart to stone, heart to
stone."
Family
The importance of family in times of need.
"Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly
normal part of their life."
"Almost everyone in heaven has someone on Earth they watch, a loved one,
a friend or even a stranger who was once kind, who offered warm food or a
bright smile when one of us had needed it. "
A broken family
"These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the
connections-sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often
magnificent-that happened after I was gone."…read more

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THEMES
Intimacy
Adultery
"To find a doorway out of her (Abigail's) ruined heart in merciful
adultery. "
First times
"At fourteen my sister sailed away from me into a place I'd never been. In
the walls of my sex there was horror and blood, in the walls of hers there
were windows. "
The Supernatural
Ruth
"But she (Ruth) was no shadow of a human form, no ghost. She was a
smart girl breaking all the rules."
"Ruth had been a girl haunted and now she would be a woman haunted.
First by accident and now by choice.
The Inbetween/Heaven
"You have to give up on Earth(...)This seemed impossible to me."
"This is just a temporary hell, not a permanent one"…read more

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