If You Come Softly Questions and Answers
by Jacqueline Woodson

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In If You Come Softly, what is Jeremiah's relationship with his parents?

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Jeremiah’s parents are separated, and he does not like it that they put him in the awkward position of choosing between them who he wants to stay with every night:

He wished he had a brother or sister—somebody to go up against them with. Someone to help relieve some of the stuff they put him through. How long would it have to be like this anyway? Two addresses. Two phone numbers. Two bedrooms.

Jeremiah hates it that his parents are separated and that his father lives with another woman in a house across the street from his mother’s place. He misses their togetherness, their love, and the more he thinks about their life together as a family, the more confused he becomes about love: “how could a person just love somebody one day and boom, the next day love somebody else?”

Jeremiah does many things for his parents to please them and to make them proud of him. For his father, he agrees to attend Percy Academy, and for his mother, he does about everything else: not eating meat, going to her house first after school, and being in his best behavior. He loves his parents and tries to be understanding of their weaknesses.

Jeremiah’s father, Norman Roselind is an acclaimed moviemaker. He loves Jeremiah and naturally wants the best for him. He suggests that Jeremiah should move to Percy Academy so that he can get a better education.

Jeremiah’s mother, Nelia Roselind, is a renowned author. She adores her son and likes to have his company in the house. She likes Ellie, Jeremiah’s girlfriend, and loves it when the two spend time together in her home.

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