Who are the protagonists of If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson and what are their roles in the novel?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson is a young adult novel first published in 1998. It is set in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan in New York City, where the two main characters are both students as an elite private school, Percy Academy, to which they have both just transferred. 

Ellie, the first person narrator of the story, is a white girl from a wealthy family. Her mother and father have a complex and somewhat unstable relationship and her siblings are scattered across the country. She starts falling in love with Miah when they encounter each other in the corridor of the school and is concerned about how her parents will react to an interracial relationship.

Jeremiah or Miah has a father who is a famous filmmaker and mother who is a successful writer, who are estranged from each other. He falls in love with Ellie. 

The plot of the novel revolves around how this two young people develop their relationship and individual identities.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial