Beatrice and Roy have slightly similar families, but in most ways their families are different. Both Beatrice and Roy are their biological parents' only children. Both Beatrice's and Roy's fathers have been high achievers in their professions. Leon Leep was a professional basketball player, and Roy's father has received multiple promotions within the Department of Justice. Of course, both families live fairly near each other in Coconut Cove, Florida, and their children attend the same school.
Beyond those few similarities, however, the families stand in stark contrast to each other. Roy's parents are nurturing and loving. They commend him when he does something good, they discipline or reprimand him when he does something wrong, and they help him think through tough issues. His mother and father seem to agree about most things and don't quarrel much. Roy's father works outside the home, while his mother doesn't. They go on family outings, eat dinner, and spend Sundays together. His parents don't hover over him, though. They allow him enough freedom to solve his problems and grow in the process. In short, they represent a functional family.
Beatrice's family is dysfunctional. Her parents quarrel and even become physically violent with each other. They are a blended family; Lonna is Beatrice's stepmother. Beatrice has never bonded with Lonna, and Lonna doesn't want her son around. Leon seems depressed and may be an alcoholic. He doesn't work and seems to have no practical life skills or healthy interests. Lonna works in the evenings. The family doesn't seem to do things together or enjoy each other's company. Beatrice makes supper for her father each night because she doesn't think he's capable of doing it for himself.
Beatrice's family represents the inadequate parenting that many of the teens in Coconut Cove seem to have, while Ray's family represents parents who are healthy and engaged enough to provide a positive environment for their child.