Who is Sam Westing, and these other characters from The Westing Game?
Grace Wexler, Flora Baumbach, Turtle Wexler, Judge Ford, Doug Hoo, Mr. Hoo, Chris Theodorakis, Denton Deere, Sydell Pulaski
Please help - this is a confuseing book!
Sam Westing is the central character in the book. He is a "mysterious industrialist" who disappeared several years before the start of the story. He has since reputedly been found dead in his mansion, and has left an estate "estimated to be worth over two hundred million dollars" (Chapter 4). In his will, Sam Westing targets "sixteen nieces and nephews", and makes them players in the "Westing Game". By working with an assigned partner, they will compete against each other, and the winner will be the one to gain the inheritance (Chapter 6).
Grace Wexler, Flora Baumbach, Turtle Wexler, Judge Ford, Doug Hoo, Mr. Hoo, Chris Theodorakis, Denton Deere, and Sydelle Pulaski are among the sixteen residents of Sunset Towers who have been named as players in the Westing Game. Grace Wexler presumptuously describes herself as an "heiress", and claims to be an interior decorator, but "spends most of her time in the Chinese restaurant or the beauty parlor". She is the mother of two daughters, Angela and Turtle, and claims that Sam Westing is her real uncle. Turtle Wexler is in junior high school, and her real name is Tabitha-Ruth. Turtle is exceptionally smart, always wears her hair in a thick braid, and is known to play the stock market and kick people. Her mother always puts her down for her plain looks and tomboyish ways (Chapter 19).
Flora Baumbach is a dressmaker who once made a wedding gown for Sam Westing's daughter. She is especially kind to Turtle. J.J. Ford is a judge, and the only one who knew Sam Westing personally. Westing funded J.J.'s education, and used to play chess with her. Mr. Hoo once sued Sam Westing over "the invention of the disposable diaper, and thinks he was cheated in the matter. Doug Hoo, a high school track star, is his son. Chris Theodorakis is fifteen years old, and has cerebral palsy. His father was a "childhood sweetheart" of Sam Westing's daughter, but their relationship was broken up by Mrs. Westing. Denton Deere is a successful doctor who is engaged to be married to Angela Wexler, Grace Wexler's daughter and Turtle's older sister. Sydelle Pulaski is an eccentric woman who has worked as a secretary and walks with a crutch. Sydelle has been chosen as a player by mistake, having no known connection to Sam Westing or his family (Chapters 18-10).