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The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones

by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones Chapter 10 Summary

How It All Goes Down

  • It's summer now, and Lindsey, Samuel, and Ruth are attending "the statewide Gifted and Talented Symposium" (10.1).
  • Samuel worships his brother Hal, who runs a bike shop behind the railroad tracks across from the sinkhole, and lives at home in an apartment on top of the garage.
  • Ruth is becoming more devoted to her Susie poetry and has become a vegetarian since Susie died.
  • Lindsey draws a fish on her nametag – when people see her name, they think of Susie, bloody and butchered. Ruth asks her about it in the cafeteria one day.
  • Susie watches Ruth write and dream about her more and more.
  • She discovers that Ruth has sexual desires for women.
  • Susie learns she doesn't have to stay in the gazebo to watch Earth; she can walk heaven's fields and still see.
  • One day, she asks Franny if there's another heaven, where her ancestors are, where nobody can remember their time on Earth.
  • Franny says there is, but to go there, you have to stop worrying about Earth. Susie can't imagine getting to that point.
  • That night, Ruth comes to Lindsey's bed after dreaming of Susie. She confides in Lindsey.
  • On Saturday, the symposium's contest is announced. Whoever can best demonstrate "HOW TO COMMIT THE PERFECT MURDER" (10.71) wins.
  • Lindsey's friends try to shield her, but she soon learns the truth. Then everybody learns whose sister she is.
  • Samuel and Lindsey have sex for the first time under a rowboat sheltering them from a summer shower.
  • Susie thinks, "In the walls of my sex there was horror and blood, in the walls of hers there were windows" (10.138).
  • In heaven, they play "How to Commit the Perfect Murder" all the time. Susie's favorite weapon is the icicle, because it melts inside the body of the victim, leaving no trace.