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There are quite a few characters in this book that come and go. I have attached a link of most of them, but I will highlight the main characters here.
The narrator and protagonist, or main character, is Hagar Shipley. Hagar is 90 years old, and very frail. Her dependence on others frustrates her, and her past haunts her. She lives with her son Marvin and her daughter in law Doris. Marvin wants to put her in a nursing home, but she does not want to leave her house.
Throughout the novel, Hagar flashes back to the past. She was married to a man named Bram, who did not make her happy. They had another son, John, who lived with Hagar as an adult because times were tough, but they did not get along.
To avoid the nursing home, Hagar leaves and makes her way to an abandoned cannery where she further reminisces. There she meets Murray Lees, who is also visiting to find some peace and quiet, and they commiserate. Hagar gets sick and Murray goes to get her son.
In the hospital, Hagar meets a young girl named Sandra who is there to get her appendix out. They enjoy each other’s company and Hagar calms her fears, but she is still very ill.
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