What does she add to the story? Does she help support any themes? What roles does she play in the book?
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Esther's role is that of a mentor. Her purpose in returning to Manchester is one of experience and love. She is determined to save Mary from her own mistakes..... to guide her on a happy path and reveal the effects of her own choices. Esther, herself, is a lesson for Mary. A lesson that teaches the consequences of following one's emotions rather than following the direction set out for her from birth.