Molly Bolt, an aspiring film director. As an illegitimate child, a lesbian, and a feminist, Molly feels that she is different for most of her life. She grew up poor and was a bright child. She was the first person in her family to go to college but was expelled for having an affair with her roommate. Now a thin, very attractive young woman, Molly expends much of her energy resisting labels; she demands the freedom to have any career she wants, love whomever she wants, and live the way she wants without interference. She is not tolerant of anyone who thinks differently and seems rather cruel and selfish at times. She is true to herself, however, and never compromises her values. She faces the difficulties of trying to break into a traditional man’s career squarely and unflinchingly. When a job or a relationship begins to sour, she moves on without regrets.
Carrie Bolt, Molly’s sharp-tongued stepmother. Carrie and Molly rarely agree on anything. Having no patience for Molly’s independence and mischief, Carrie uses bullying and scolding to try to force her to be more ladylike. When she learns of Molly’s homosexuality, Carrie throws her out of the house. Years later, when Molly is twenty-four years old and in film school, Molly returns home, and she and Carrie reach a shaky truce.
Carl Bolt, Molly’s good-natured stepfather. Carl works hard all of his life, and his muscular body shows it, but he dies of a heart attack at the age of fifty-seven, a discouraged man who never accomplished anything he could be proud of. Before he dies, he tells Molly to pursue her dreams and to live her life the way she wants to.
Leroy Denman, a redneck, Molly’s cousin and closest childhood friend. Fat and not very bright, Leroy admires Molly and is always ready to help her pull a prank or to listen open-mindedly as she thinks things through. He...
(The entire section is 812 words.)