Miss Emily Grierson's neighbors in Jefferson were mystified with her sudden coupling with newcomer Homer Barron. First, they can't believe Emily would be interested in a common "Yankee;" the Grierson's were an "aristocratic" family with deep roots in the town's history dating back before the Civil War. Later, they are happy for Emily, since they realize she is an aging spinster with few prospects in the town. Many do not appreciate her Sunday carriage rides with Homer, since (despite their adult ages) it was not deemed proper to be courted unescorted. Homer is generally well-liked by most of the town--especially the men. He enjoys telling stories and is usually the center of attention. This odd duo seemed an unlikely pairing, though the townspeople expected marriage between the two to be inevitable.