Laura Reynolds, a young woman in her mid-to late twenties. She has been married for less than a year to Bill Reynolds. Sensitive and compassionate, she is trying to adjust to life at the boys’ school where her husband teaches, but she is not one for vigorous outdoor activity or small-minded gossip, both of which seem to be prerequisites for acceptance there. She is also worried by what she perceives as Bill’s growing distance from her—physical as well as emotional distance. She is generally cheerful, however, and carries an air of maturity and wisdom about her. When she takes steps to protest an injustice done to Tom Lee, one of the students, she does so thoughtfully and decisively, without histrionics.
Tom Lee, one of the boys living in the house of which Bill Reynolds is housemaster. Almost eighteen years old, midway between boy and man, he is in love with Laura without fully realizing it. Laura, in turn, is touched by Tom’s intensity, especially because he reminds her of her first husband, now deceased. The son of divorced parents, reared by a father who does not understand him and scorned by classmates who do not respect him, Tom is very lonely and very sensitive. He spends afternoons listening to his phonograph and playing the guitar. He plans on becoming a folk singer. Although he is the school’s tennis champion, that show of athletic prowess fails to help him fit in: He is criticized for winning through technique and control rather than power and strength....
(The entire section is 632 words.)