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Written by Timothy Sexton
The ward of Lawyer Royall who attempts to molest her after his wife dies and thus stimulates her desire for independence and rebellion. That rebellion arrive one summer in the form of a stranger who seduces, impregnates and abandons her. Ultimate deciding when looked at from another perspective dependence can mean security, she winds up marrying for her former guardian.
Lawyer Royall’s feelings toward the young Charity have been paternal and protective until his wife dies, after which his heavy drinking helps tear down the wall securing his growing lust and desire. One night that drink drives him to press his sexual desire upon her, but demonstrates honest remorse afterward. He keeps his distance, hires workers to be in the house with them and assists in her desire for independence even though he is pained by the thought of losing her. Her lover abandons her while pregnant, it is the former guardian who steps in with the offer of marriage.
A young New York architect who enters Charity’s life one summer and entices with the promise of being everything that her life up to now has not been. Charity is both attracted to Lucius and envious of him. Lucius is more than just her summer lover; he is also the symbol of everything that Charity dreams of for herself.
Annabel, on the other hand, is not a symbol of everything that Charity Royall does not have; she is the literal incarnation of it. Annabel is blonde, blue-eyed, fashionable, educated, wealthy and the eventual Mrs. Lucius Harney.
The older sister of Charity’s best friend Ally, Julia was also once the victim of a love affair that left her pregnant and abandoned. After aborting the fetus, Julia lapsed into prostitution and has ever since become persona non grata in the small town. Julia is the cautionary tale which informs Charity’s decision-making process later.
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