->''"My name is Salmon, like the fish."''
->''"First name, Susie."''
->''"I was fourteen years old when I was murdered on December 6th, 1973."''

''The Lovely Bones'' is a highly acclaimed, best-selling 2002 novel by Alice Sebold. Its heroine is Susie Salmon, who posthumously narrates the story of her family after her own rape and murder in December 1973. While she watches from her own private heaven, grief throws her family into disarray, and when the police investigation yields no clues, Susie's father and sister take matters into their own hands when clues lead them toward the actual murderer.

The book was adapted to film by Creator/PeterJackson and released in 2009. It stars SaoirseRonan, Creator/MarkWahlberg, Creator/RachelWeisz, Stanley Tucci, and Susan Sarandon.

Tropes specifically about the book go here. For the film See ''Film/TheLovelyBones''.
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!!The Book Provides examples of:
* AdultFear: The premise is based on the worst possible outcome of the "Oh shit, my daughter was supposed to be home hours ago; what if she's dead?" fear.
* AfterlifeAntechamber: Susie's heaven.
* AgeLift: Given the time shift, a lot of characters grow older as the story goes on
* AmateurSleuth: Jack after his daughter's murder
** Hal tries his hand in at least asking questions to people who come into his shop
** Mr. Harvey even throws out some ideas to the police to avert suspicions. Even saying the blueprint of his underground room was an amateur sleuth hobby.
* BikerBabe: Lindsey seems to have a phase as one. Her husband's brother runs a repair shop and she and Samuel ride home from graduation on them and she has a short hair cut at the time.
* BookEnds: Susie on life. The book opens with her introduction telling us about when she died and then ends by wishing everyone a happy life.
* CassandraTruth: Hardly anyone ever believes Jack. At all.
** Averted by Holiday the EvilDetectingDog that growls when they get to Harvey's house.
* ChekhovsGun: In the book it is the mention of the icicle. If Susie is narrating the story as we read it post her going to the bigger heaven then [[spoiler: her mentioning of it as her perfect weapon is her foreshadowing that will be the cause of death for her murderer]]
** Subverted in the case of Susie's charm bracelet. It's brought up enough times to feel significant, and Mr. Harvey left a charm from it with the body of another victim... but the people who find it in the landfill have no way of knowing its significance or who it belonged to. It's just something that was thrown away.
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: Successful for Lindsey and Samuel. And possibly for Susie and Ray in that one would never live past childhood, but they did find a way.
* ComingOfAgeStory: Played with by having the main character ''die'' first.
** To a lesser extent we get to see along with Susie the growing into an adult of her younger sister. Sex experiences and all.
* CoolOldLady: Grandma Lynn. Although as she would say "35 is not old! You've been sniffing too much of that nail polish"
* DeadGuyJunior: A partial example. [[spoiler: Lindsey's daughter]] is named Abigail Suzanne.
* DeadPersonConversation: [[spoiler: This happens with Susie and Ray, more so in the novel.]]
** Also with Buckley, who claims to be able to see Susie when he's younger. Susie herself isn't entirely sure if he does, or if he is just making it up to comfort himself.
* DeadToBeginWith: The story is partly set in and fully told from [[spoiler:Susie's afterlife]].
* DeathByIrony: The eventual fate of Susie's killer? [[spoiler:Killed by an icicle that drops on him]]. There's an incident earlier in the book where Susie refers to the "perfect murder" game played in heaven. The weapon she always picks? [[spoiler:An icicle, because it melts away. Also consider that Susie might be narrating from the future to make that line a foreshadowing or later she mentions the ability to affect somethings on Earth, (like Buckley's garden)]].
* TheDeterminator: Jack
* DevilInPlainSight: Notwithstanding the possibility that he likely would have been sighted at some point while building his "clubhouse" (or, after the murder, while destroying it), Mr. Harvey engages in lots of ''very'' suspicious behavior that should have at the very least led the police to consider him as a suspect earlier in the investigation than they do. Jack is no better, naming just about every person he can think of who had any contact with Susie to the police before he starts suspecting Harvey.
** JustifiedTrope: The story takes place in the '70s, before people really believed this stuff could happen to anyone. As Susie notes early in the book.
** Another justification can come from the setting, unpatrolled cornfields can vary in structure but it's quite easy for humans and other animals to be able to sneak around in them unnoticed. In later chapters while it's Clarissa's light and Jack's yelling that give them away, Harvey is very much perfectly hidden.
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler:Mr. Harvey dies by falling off a cliff when an icicle hits him.]]
* DiedHappilyEverAfter: When Susie moves out of the in-between and into heaven [[spoiler: where she spends most of the time with her grandfather.]]
* DisposingOfABody: Mr. Harvey gets rid of Susie's body by putting it in a safe and dropping it in the local sinkhole [[spoiler:The final scene is of Susie's charm bracelet being found later by someone with absolutely no idea whose it is, He merely comments "The little girl this belonged to is all grown up now," to which Susie responds, "Not quite."]]
* DistantFinale: In the novel; see immediately above.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: A level of it appears as the book's concept of Heaven. Susie has to accept her death and move on to get into bigger Heaven, even though apparently that doesn't mean completely giving up on watching the living. But until the dead do that, they are just going to stay in the little bubble of simple desires.
* EvenTheGuysWantHim: Ray, as stated by Susie's narration in the novel, [[spoiler: after the TimeSkip]].
* EvilDetectingDog: The Salmons' dog barks angrily at the sight of George Harvey's house.
* FailedASpotCheck: Susie mentions that if she had been more attentive to her surroundings, she would have noticed Mr. Harvey watching her implying that she could have avoided her death.
* FirstPersonPeripheralNarrator: Susie narrates the novel from Heaven, witnessing the events on earth and experiencing hopes and longings for the things she no longer can do.
* HardDrinkingPartyGirl: Grandma.
* TheHeroDies: Susie herself at the beginning.
* [[HerHeartWillGoOn His Heart Will Go On]]: Ray.
* {{Housewife}}: Susie's mother, Abigail, is a reluctant one. She seems to have planned to go back to work once Susie and Lindsey were old enough to take care of themselves, but then Buckley was born.
* IdiotBall: Susie herself post death sort have realizes she dropped the ball, but Franny seems to know that happens a lot with the dead.
** That said, the way Susie is lured to her death is realistic and could have happened to anyone regardless of smarts. Especially given this is set in the 70's, before "stranger danger" was a real concept. A skeevy adult can get really far by exploiting a child's innate trust in adults ''and'' their fear of being impolite. Hell, the latter is an effective manipulating tool even with adults.
* InnocentInaccurate: As Susie died at 14, she ends up misinterpreting some of the things that happen after her death.
* ISeeDeadPeople: [[spoiler: Ruth after Susie touches her shoulder on her way to heaven]].
** She also has a vision of the dead victims and animals following Mr. Harvey's car.
** And spies one during her time in New York.
* KarmicDeath: Literally.[[spoiler: After attempting and failing to ensnare another victim in an icy parking lot, Mr. Harvey is struck by a falling icicle and slips on the ice, plunging off a cliff to his death.]]
** Possibly more so ChekhovsGun in the book. Susie's narration in text form is more than likely coming post her knowing about the death. So her mentioning of the weapon that kills him earlier in the book as her pick for the perfect murder weapon may be more a foreshadow then it is indication she was involved.
* LadyDrunk: Grandma Lynn.
* LateForSchool: Susie runs late to school, and has to sneak in through the auditorium. This allows her the chance to spend time with Ray and get a chance to understand Ruth a little better
* MakingLoveInAllTheWrongPlaces: To the book as a whole, sex happens in some strange choices. Susie's rape is in a dug out room under a cornfield (Clarissa and Brian were going to do it just in the cornfield), the first Lindsey/Samuel is under a boat at Summercamp and the second is in a broken down house in the middle of the woods they later buy. Abigail/Len is inside a interstructure room at the mall. Ray/Susie in Ruth's body has the most normal a bed, but it's also Hal's bed that they kinda broke into his shop to get to.
* MarriedToTheJob: Len Fenerman has become this as he has problems separating his job from his personal life, as he's also trying to "solve" the mystery of his wife's suicide alongside the missing kids.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Buckley says things that make it seem like he knows more about the afterlife, but Susie isn't sure if this is an actual clairvoyance or just his imagination.
* MundaneAfterlife: Susie's heaven is mostly just nice things from her life.
** Subverted at the end of the novel when [[spoiler: she learns to accept her death along with the rest of her family and she moves on to the next tier of heaven that is described as very beautiful, more so than she can describe]].
* NearDeathClairvoyance: Susie does this.
* NostalgiaHeaven: It's stated that each person's version of heaven is what they would have found most appealing in life; Susie's (in the book, at least) includes a high school and a duplex (because she wanted one while she was alive).
* NotGrowingUpSucks: Since Susie died young, she is envious of things her friends and sister experience as they grow up that she never will, which later motivates her to [[spoiler:have sex with Ray when she's in Ruth's body.]]
* OurGhostsAreDifferent: In addition to below, the book has the dead able to see and "hover" over the living as Susie says but at times they can break through and the living can see them in form or their image. Why or how it does sometimes and not others is not ever really addressed.
** Susie herself sees Harvey's other victims taking up space when she watches her sister break in, implying they too are hovering watching, but Susie doesn't seem to actually "meet" them until a later scene in Heaven at a tree.
* OurSoulsAreDifferent : A soul possessing someone psychic is pretty common, the person who's body is being used getting to go up to Heaven in that moment, that's pretty much all Ruth.
* ObviouslyEvil: Possibly justified in the 1970s setting, but for any GenreSavvy viewer, Mr Harvey may as well have "serial killer" written on his forehead.
* ParentalAbandonment: When Susie's mom leaves her family and goes to the other side of the country for several years.
* PastimesProvePersonality
* PetTheDog: Susie flashes back into Harvey's past to provide some moments from his childhood that can qualify. Like how his father ordered his mother out of the car on a highway and drove off. Harvey never saw his mother again.
* PhoneCallFromTheDead: Susie attempts this in Ruth's body
* PosthumousCharacter: Susie, [[CaptainObvious obviously]], but also Holly and the other girls she meets in the In Between, who are [[spoiler: implied to be Harvey's previous victims]].
* PosthumousNarration: Susie narrates from the point of being dead.
** While Susie is young, it is worth remembering that sometimes she jumps around and comes back to smaller memories outside of the linear narration following her death. This doesn't really present her as a UnreliableNarrator, but is important to remember
* PutOnABus: Many, many characters in the book that you think are major are actually minor and, once their part is served, you don't see them again. Chief Case: [[spoiler: Susie's best friend, Clarissa. Seems like a main, but is never spoken of again after the incident that put Susie's dad in the hospital.]]
* RapeAsDrama: In the novel, Susie is raped before she is murdered, and it's [[{{Squick}} described in graphic detail]].
* RearWindowInvestigation: What Lindsey ends up doing at George Harvey's house.
* ResurrectedRomance: [[spoiler: Susie and Ray experience this, but only briefly.]]
* {{Revenge}}: Jack's goal going into the cornfield [[spoiler: it doesn't work, and he ends up needing a new knee]]
* SerialKiller: [[CaptainObvious Mr. Harvey]].
* TheSeventies: The setting.
* ShoutOut: Holly, Susie's roommate in Heaven doesn't reveal her real name but Holly she uses as a reference to Film/BreakfastAtTiffanys
** Also Ray enjoys using Theatre/{{Othello}} as a reference after it is assigned as reading in the story. He even calls himself "The Moor" in his love note to Susie.
* SnoopingLittleKid: Susie's sister, when she sneaks into the killer's house to find proof.
* SummerCampy: One chapter takes place at the "Gifted Camp" where the smartest kids go for a few weeks. Lindsey, Samuel and Ruth are all attendees at that year's event.
* SympathyForTheDevil: Looking into Mr. Harvey's life, Susie sees him more for what he is - a man still traumatized by ParentalAbandonment, who seems ''unable'' to repress the urge to rape and murder young girls like her. Even while hating him, she can't help pity him to a certain degree.
* TeenGenius: Lindsey and Ruth.
* ThisIsMyStory: Susie narrated the story of her life, death, and the life of her family and friends after she dies.
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Averted. Heaven has Frannie the intake counselor, whose tasks include dispensing Kool-Aid and urging the girls to accept their deaths and move on. That said, she quite cruelly reminds Susie how easily her murderer lured her into a trap ("Like taking candy from a baby") mere moments after dispensing this advice. So it's not quite clear how effective a therapist she is.
** In the book, Lindsey mentions that she decided the become a therapist while at college, probably so that she can help people going through what she went through.
* TimeSkip: An interlude chapter in the novel appropriately titled "Snapshots" illustrates this.
* TitleDrop: Before the epilogue.
* TogetherInDeath: We get two literal pairs. Susie gets quite heartwarming reunions with her grandfather and dog Holiday within her narration.
* VirginityMakesYouStupid: {{Justified|Trope}}; sounds kind of weird to say TheSeventies were a more innocent time, but nowadays even a kid would know not to go in that hole. Speaking more broadly, the Alphabet Murders and the Freeway Phantom killings took place just a year or two before Susie's death. These were the subjects of huge national headlines and discussion. Warnings against "perverts" or "sex maniacs" were rife. What everyone at the time might not have caught onto was the fact that often the "pervert" is a neighbor or relative - which we still haven't today, as only a ''very'' small percentage of child abductions are committed by actual strangers, but try convincing people of this even now.
* WordSaladTitle: Just what ''are'' the lovely bones? [[spoiler: Susie refers to them as the bonds formed between people that were affected by her death.]]
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