Superior, the heroine of “Sisters of the Rain,” a big, strong, homely girl. Although she has below-average intelligence, she has acquired from her mother an abiding faith in education as a means of salvation from her impoverished existence. She is shy, quiet, industrious, patient, and generous. She ends up with four successful children who all enjoy supporting her in luxury. Her virtues set her off from Jewel and Glenellen, her two “sisters of the rain.”
Jewel, who in contrast to Superior is a sexy girl who “goes all the way” with boys in high school and believes in having fun while avoiding hard work and family responsibilities. She has what appears to be an exciting life with lots of male friends, but she ends up penniless, childless, and alone. Her sterile lifestyle serves as a contrast to Superior’s industry and foresight.
Glenellen, the only major character in this collection of stories who is white. She is a spoiled, selfish girl.
Molly, the narrator of “The Life You Live (May Not Be Your Own).” She lives as an enemy of her next-door neighbor, Isobel, for twelve years, believing that Isobel hates her. Only after Isobel’s husband dies and Molly’s husband leaves her do the two women realize that they have been deceived. Realization of this deception leads Molly to resolve to lead her own life and never to trust men or to become financially or emotionally dependent on them.
(The entire section is 642 words.)