Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 954
A wild girl who grows into a wild young woman, Myra is beautiful and mysterious. As a child, she lives with her grandparents on Bloodroot Mountain. Her parents died when she was an infant. The mystical qualities of her bloodline are physically visible in her haunted, bright blue eyes.
More than any other characters in Bloodroot, Myra is described as possessing great beauty and a special bond with Bloodroot Mountain. She is precious but wild and everyone who comes to know her understands this about her.
Following the pattern set by her grandmother and mother, Myra falls passionately in love with an unlikely man and runs off with him before reaching adulthood. When the marriage becomes abusive, Myra is forced to run away. She cuts the wedding ring from the hand of her husband, John Odom, severing his finger in the process.
Myra bears two children, twins, when she returns to Bloodroot Mountain but they are taken away from her and put into foster care. Myra is finally institutionalized.
One of the two narrators of Part 1, Byrdie is Myra’s grandmother, married to Macon Lamb. She helps Myra give birth to her twins but dies soon after they are born. Byrdie grows up in Chickweed Holler with her mother and aunts, but has itchy feet which means she is bound to travel. When she is a teenager she marries Macon Lamb and moves to Bloodroot Mountain. Byrdie’s family possesses certain mystical qualities and abilities.
Raising Myra, Byrdie strives to bring forth all the lessons she has learned throughout her life. Recognizing the impossibility of suppressing a person’s true nature, Byrdie learns to let go of Myra in a way she could not with Myra’s mother, Clio. With an identity that is largely founded on her relationship to others (her husband, her nieces, her step-father, and her grand-daughter), this willingness to release Myra is hard-fought but rewarded in the end when Myra returns pregnant to Bloodroot Mountain.
A quiet man who likes to work with his hands, Macon Lamb is also sentimental and emotional. He grows increasingly quiet as he ages, but is happy in his marriage to Byrdie. The death of their children has a greater impact on Macon than it does on Byrdie, but Myra’s presence in the house comforts him.
Doug Cotter lives on Bloodroot Mountain. He and his family share the mountain with the Lamb family and the Barnett family. At a young age, Doug falls in love with Myra but suspects that the will never gain her affections. Doug is a quiet but observant person. He is one of the two narrators of Part 1 of Bloodroot.
Doug has an older brother, Mark, who also falls for Myra and is rebuffed. Doug also carries on a friendship with Mr. Barnett. Doug is infuriated by Myra’s decision to date John Odom. He has long realized that Myra will never return his interest in her, yet he maintained hope. When John Odom appears, Doug is crushed and chooses to leave town rather than stand by and watch Myra with someone else.
Despite his attempt to rid himself of thoughts of Myra, Doug spends years jealously reflecting on Myra and her husband until one day he meets John Odom. Odom’s hand is mutilated and the brash, beautiful young man that once stole Myra from his affections is now just as haunted and damaged by Myra as Doug ever was.
John Odom, son of a small business man in town, is at first a handsome young man who enjoys many flings and affairs. Myra sees him on the street one day and decides she must have...
(The entire section contains 954 words.)
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