Tim Farnsworth is the protagonist of The Unnamed; his wife, Jane, is the second most important character. As Stephen King said in his review, their love story is what makes the book “shine.”
At the beginning of the novel, Tim is in his late forties or early fifties, and he is a successful law partner, almost a workaholic. He is tall, of normal weight, and has all his fingers and toes. He has a shrewd, logical mind and has only been plagued by the walking disease twice before in his life. His father died of cancer when he was young, and twenty years later his mother was killed in an accident. Jane is in her forties, slender, and “still beautiful.” She was a housewife while Becka was little and then began selling real estate during a period when Tim’s disease was in remission. In the beginning of The Unnamed, she works full time and is hesitant to quit. Both of Jane’s parents have also passed away, and neither she nor Tim has any siblings. They mostly struggle with Tim’s disease alone, but together.
As Ferris develops these two major characters and their relationship, he reveals the complexities of love and marriage. Jane’s beloved husband starts falling apart: physically, mentally, and emotionally. The disease plagues not only Tim but also his and Jane’s love, and his illness puts their marriage to the ultimate test. However, Tim’s walking is not the only source of the Farnsworths’ marital contention. While Tim is still a partner in the firm, Jane accuses him of being obsessed with his work at the expense of his family. Conversely, she states that he and Becka are her life.
Jane makes many sacrifices for Tim: she leaves work early to pick him up after a walk concludes, she comes to his rescue in the middle of the night, and she has travelled with him to consult doctors all over North America and Europe. But during the second recurrence of Tim’s walking disease, Jane doubts if she...
(The entire section is 668 words.)