When we meet Susie, she is already in heaven, looking down on her family and watching as it slowly unravels. Her mother cannot cope with the loss of a child, particularly since she never wanted to have children in the first place. Meanwhile, her father is sure that he knows who the killer is. In his search for the truth, he is both physically and emotionally damaged, as no one but his second daughter Lindsey, believes him.
Through Susie's eyes, we watch the effects that time has on her family and after many years, we watch as they all finally come to terms with her death. We witness the lasting effects she had on a girl named Ruth, who was touched by Susie's spirit when she ascended to heaven. And we also follow Susie's killer with her, learning grisly details of what occurred in the hours after her murder and where he is as time passes.
When I picked up this book, I was so sure I would be reading about an investigation on the rape and murder of a young girl. I believed the main focus of the story would be finding clues to link to the killer. And while that certainly encompasses a part of the story, the main focus of the story is on Susie Salmon's heaven and how she comes to terms with the effects that her life and death have had on the living. I truly loved this book because it portrayed the different effects grief can have on an individual, through the thoughts and actions of each one of Susie's family members. The writing style worked great and flowed nicely and never once was I bored. All in all, I throughly enjoyed this story.