Lydie Hickman, the fifteen-year-old daughter of Joshua Hickman and Lydie Breeze Hickman. Highly sensitive and theatrical, Lydie has comically flighty ways that do not quite hide the emotional maelstrom underlying her adolescent psyche. Obsessed with her mother’s suicide and embarrassed by her father’s stint in prison, Lydie is worried that she will never become a woman because she has not yet begun to menstruate. She claims that she hates men in general and her father in particular, but in reality she yearns for adulthood, the attention of men, and a normal relationship with her father.
Joshua Hickman, Lydie’s father, the widower of Lydie Breeze, a tired, broken man in his mid-fifties. Joshua fought in the Civil War, and after the war he attempted to form a utopian community with his wife and his best friends, Dan Grady and Amos Marsh. He now does little but drink rye whiskey and swim far out into the Atlantic Ocean. He is back from the prison term he served for accidentally killing Dan in a petty, drunken fight.
Jeremiah Grady, a highly successful actor and Dan Grady’s son. In his late twenties, Jeremiah is unyieldingly serious and histrionic, partly because of the torment he feels over his difficult past and partly because his manner reflects a lifelong habit of adopting a role to compensate for being unsure of himself. At the age of...
(The entire section is 520 words.)