Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Louise Kahan

Louise Kahan, also known as Annette Hollander Sinclair, a popular writer of women’s fiction. She is the former wife of Oscar Kahan and the mother of a fifteen-year-old daughter, Kay. When World War II breaks out, Louise works as a war correspondent and writes about anti-Semitism and the problems of women while resolving the nature of her continued involvement with her former husband.

Daniel Balaban

Daniel Balaban, a child of immigrant Jewish parents living in the Bronx. He trains Japanese-language officers and works as a cryptologist deciphering codes in Japanese.

Jacqueline Lévy-Monot

Jacqueline Lévy-Monot, known by her Jewish name, Yakova, and as Jacqueline Porell, whose identity she assumes in order to disguise her Jewish heritage. Using the name Gingembre, she escorts Jewish children over the Pyrenees to escape capture by the Germans. As a concentration camp victim, she takes part in the death march from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen to Magdenburg and survives to “make the past walk through the present.”


Abra, a graduate student at Columbia University and the lover of Oscar Kahan, whom she follows to London as a member of the Office of Strategic Services. Increasingly upset in her role of compliant mistress, she asks what women want in a relationship with another person and in terms of their own self-identity.


(The entire section is 568 words.)