First I will set aside the main characters because I always tend to fall in love with the leading men; in this case, Zeke and Joshua who are both strong men of God. I loved Abra, too, because she was like a wayward daughter, a friend lost in the wilderness, a child crying in the darkness. There are so many characters in this book I had to keep a list and refer to it frequently to remember who lived down the street from whom and how they were interconnected. To complicate matters, I changed some of the names as I wrote. When the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) came out, I went through and made a fresh list just to be sure I had the right names in my memory bank (which could crash at any time).
Here are three of my favorites:
Mitzi Martin – she is the old lady I want to be; full of spunk, discerning, tells the truth no matter what, loves life and never gives up on people because she is a rebel-turned-saint and knows God can work miracles. She has a cunning side, too – and yet is innocent as a dove.
Irene Farley – the church secretary who is the church’s “first contact” with those in desperate need of God. She adds humor when things get too serious. She knows everything about everybody, but never gossips.
Murray – a hairdresser without a last name who loves women and making them look their best while he is even more interested and concerned about what’s going on inside each one he serves. He knows how to keep secrets. He offers wise counsel even when it’s not welcomed.
Frieda King – Mitzi’s feisty nurse is like my mother. That’s why I gave her mom’s name.
Jack Wooding – a hard-working contractor who trains Joshua in the art of carpentry. He’s named after a carpenter friend of my mom and dad who lived down the street. Mr. Wording helped teach my father how to build a good, solid house.