The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold
The Lovely Bones Chapter 17 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- When Lindsey is 21, she and Samuel are riding the motorcycle back from her graduation. They have matching spiky haircuts.
- About eight miles from their turn-off, it's raining so hard they have to pull off the road.
- They run to a Victorian house they find in the distance. It's abandoned, so they go inside. Samuel falls in love with the house and says he wants to buy it.
- Susie stops watching when they "unzip their leathers" (17.53) and the lightning and thunder stop.
- Jack, Hal, Lynn and twelve-year-old Buckley are back at the Salmon home, anxiously awaiting the return of Lindsey and Samuel.
- After Buckley tells Jack goodnight, he looks at the pictures Susie took. He finds some pictures of Abigail, one just as he's coming home from work, and another just after, when he's kissing her.
- He can see she's not wearing "the mask" (17.70) in the first picture, but wearing it in the second. He asks the picture, "Do I do that to you? How did that happen?" (17.71).
- Back at the abandoned house, Samuel asks Lindsey to marry him, and move into this house with him while he restores it. She says yes. Up in heaven, Susie goes nuts with happiness.
- The motorcycle won't start, so Lindsey and Samuel run the eight or ten miles back to the Salmon house in their "underwear and T-shirts" (17.48). They'd smother running in their leathers.
- They burst into the house, tell their story, and announce their engagement. Everybody is overjoyed and they celebrate with champagne.
- During the celebration, Buckley sees Susie standing under the clock and almost says her name.
- As time passes, Susie gets bored and starts riding in Philadelphia trains, watching people, dreaming of her life before.
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