Lester Furnival, who lives beyond the grave. At the age of twenty-five, Lester, Richard’s wife, is killed in a freak accident. Newly dead, she haunts the earthly London in its intertwining with the Eternal City. Lester’s earthly marital love had been marred by occasional bitterness and anger, which she now must recognize and reform. Although she is not a committed Christian, her romantic nature, including her passion and the will to love, carry over to the next life sufficiently so that she can repent and develop her spiritual powers. When her once-scorned schoolmate, Betty Wallingford, is nearly victimized in a murder plot, Lester substitutes herself to save her friend. Ultimately, her love proves powerful enough to destroy the evil Simon the Clerk and assist her husband in foiling Simon’s conspiracy to achieve world domination.
Betty Wallingford, a timid and docile woman who seems merely the puppet of her evil parents, Simon the Clerk and the adulteress Lady Sara Wallingford. Her parents practice black magic, using Betty’s lucid dreams, out-of-body experiences, and automatic speech as an intelligence service between the worlds of the living and the dead. There is an assertive, spirited, joyful side to Betty, the outcome of her secret Christian baptism by a saintly nurse. When Jonathan Drayton falls in love with her, Betty finds in her own loving reciprocity the will to...
(The entire section is 557 words.)