New Novel Parallels Summer of Missing Girls

Here is what she wrote:

"In the tunnel where I was raped, a tunnel that was once an underground entry to an amphitheater, a place where actors burst forth from underneath the seats of a crowd, a girl had been murdered and dismembered. I was told this story by the police. In comparison, they said I was lucky."

If she wasn't consciously thinking of her own experience of rape when she sat down to write The Lovely Bones, at least she was unconsciously doing so. When she showed some early chapters to her husband, novelist Glen David Gold (who was her boyfriend at the time) and a girlfriend, they both made the connection before she did.

At the end of The Lovely Bones, Susie graduates from a "small heaven" to a larger one.

"Now I am in the place I call this wide, wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort," she writes.

"So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish."

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