Lol Valerie Stein
Lol Valerie Stein, a young woman who is jilted by her fiancé. At the age of nineteen, Lol, a beautiful blue-eyed blond, is engaged to Michael Richardson, who later, at a ball, abandons her for another woman, Anne-Marie Stretter. Lol, led home by her mother, suffers a mental collapse and is secluded. Lol’s apparent madness stems not from the rejection but from her lack of emotional depth, which has been evident since childhood. Her distress at leaving the ball is caused not by the pain of losing a lover but by not being able to follow Michael and Anne-Marie to witness their intense passion, thus experiencing love vicariously. Later, after briefly meeting John Bedford, she marries him and moves away from South Tahla. After her return ten years later, she takes long walks; renews her acquaintance with Tatiana Karl, a friend from her school days; and acquires a lover, Jack Hold, one of Tatiana’s conquests. Her greatest pleasure, however, is derived from watching for glimpses of Jack and Tatiana through a hotel window as she lies in a field of rye.
Michael Richardson, a young, wealthy heir with no vocation. Cultured and brilliant, Michael, at the age of twenty-five, is engaged to Lol Stein. At a ball, however, he becomes infatuated with a stranger, Anne-Marie Stretter, and leaves at dawn with her. Rumors circulate that they separate after a few months and that he liquidates his...
(The entire section is 561 words.)