The first narrator in the novel, Evelina Harp, is a witty young woman with a penchant for falling frightfully head-over-heels in love. Evelina has her first crush on her cousin, Corwin Peace, and this secret romance torments Evelina when she is an early teen. Later she transfers this love to her teacher Sister Mary Anita after she is scolded for making fun of the nun’s facial disability. Evelina feels an incredible need to protect Sister Mary Anita, and she has dreams of running away and living with her teacher. When Evelina goes away to college, she falls into a state of depression and has a secret affair with a patient at the mental hospital. Evelina thus begins to explore her sexuality, all the while trying to find out what is truly haunting her.
Seraph Milk, Evelina’s beloved grandfather Mooshum, is a chronicler of family history. While his grandchildren listen intently, he recounts the story of the plague of doves that descended upon the reservation. Mooshum will not be forced to relay stories; he chooses to entertain as he pleases. He is without moral restriction and flirts tirelessly with Evelina’s aunt, Neve Harp. Mooshum is constantly under the surveillance of his daughter Clemence, Evelina’s mother, because he is an incorrigible alcoholic. Mooshum keeps the truth from Evelina and must repent for his carelessness when Evelina confronts him.
Mooshum’s brother, Shamengwa, is dapper and sophisticated in spite of his crippled arm. Shamengwa reveals that he broke his arm as a child and used a strap to prop the arm up to play the violin without knowing that the effects would be so disastrous. Shamengwa continued to play the violin, and his music is widely respected. He becomes the saving grace for Corwin Peace after he teaches him to play the violin.
Judge Antone Bazil Coutts
Antone Coutts, the second narrator in the novel, left his job at the cemetery to become the tribal judge in the area. He understands the long history of both Pluto and the reservation and the ties that bind the areas. Antone is involved in a few scandals in town, most recently his “living in sin” with Geraldine Milk. However, this does not compare to his illicit affair with the town doctor, Cordelia Lochren, who is many years his senior.
The illegitimate son of John Wildstrand and Maggie Peace, Corwin is the object of Evelina’s love in their elementary school classroom. But even from this tender age, Corwin...
(The entire section is 1059 words.)