How might a dead person speak?
Susie's narrative voice is one of the central paradoxes in the novel. She is an innocent child whose world has been tainted by the most horrifically brutal experience imaginable.
Early on in her experience of heaven, Susie and her new friend Holly ask Franny about 'growing up' there. When Holly asks if they can at least watch the living, she is assured by Franny that they already do. Susie is not satisfied:'I think she means whole lives' I said, 'from beginning to end, to see how they did it. To know the secrets. Then we can pretend better.'
- In what ways do these words reflect Susie's confused existence?
- To what extent is there a conflation of innocence and experience in Susie's voice here?
- How do you imagine this double perspective might be portrayed in the film?
- Do you view Susie as a reliable narrator? Do you trust her perspective on events? Explain your answers.