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Written by Julia Wolf
Nell Andrews (Ivory Walker)
Nell Andrews (Ivory Walker) is one of the main characters of the story. First the reader knows her as Nell Andrews, a daughter of Hugh and Lil Andrews, living in Australia. She has two sisters and their family lives happily. But once, when Nell is 18 years old and she has her “pre-wedding” party, her father dares to confess to her that he is not her true father; he has found her many years ago in the port, where she was sitting alone on her suitcase. After that confession Nell changed: from cheerful and sincere girl to offish and close woman. She breaks up with her fiancé, doesn’t keep good relations with Hugh, Lil and sisters. In some time she gets married with another man, gives birth to a baby, but she doesn’t feel herself being good mother. In some years she decides to find out everything about her true parents, thus she goes to London, where she figures out that her parents where Nathaniel and Rose Walker, noble aristocrats, but they died many years ago. She buys a part of their estate, and goes back to Australia to take all her staff and settle in her family’s land. But when she comes back to Australia, her daughter, Lesley, brings her Cassandra, Lesley’s daughter, and asks to leave the girl with Nell for some time. Only with appearance of this girl Nell feels herself alive again – she loves her granddaughter. Lesley is not going to take Cass back, so Nell decides that her life is here, with this girl, and her moving to England fades out in the future. Only after her death Cassandra figures out that Nell wasn’t actually a daughter of the Walkers, but of Rose’s cousin – Eliza.
Cassandra is Nell’s granddaughter. Her mother Lesley left her with Nell when the girl was about 10 years old. She likes drawing and it’s actually her business for some time. She gets married, has a child, but once her husband and son get into an accident and die. After that Cass changes cardinally – her favorite business doesn’t bring her happiness anymore. She comes back to Nell and lives with her till Nell’s death. Only after that she gets to know that Nell had a huge secret concerning her family. And Cass inherits Nell’s house in London. She goes there and explores the whole story about Nell and her family. And there she meets her another love – Christian, and they settle in Cass’ house.
Eliza Makepeace is first known for the reader as the Authoress, some mystical lady who stolen little Nell from her parents and put on the ship to Australia. But reading Nell’s and Cass’ “investigations”, and the actual story about the woman, the reader opens Eliza in newer and newer sides. She turns out to be a woman with unhappy destiny, though with unbelievable beauty of both appearance and soul. Her mother, a daughter of the Mountrachets, a noble family, fell in love with a poor sailor and run away with him. They lived somewhere in a poor district of London. Eliza had a twin brother – Sammy. In some time their parents died, and Eliza and Sammy had to do the dirtiest work in order to survive. In some time her brother also died. Eliza stayed alone in the house of an ugly woman, who made her work without rest at all. There Eliza was found by a detective whom her mother’s brother Linus hired to find her. The detective brought the girl to the home of her noble family. Eliza grew up surrounded by the hate of a wife of her uncle, Adeline, and by love of her cousin Rose. Rose was her best friend, one and only soulmate. When the girls grew up and Rose engaged with Nathaniel Walker, Eliza felt jealous – she didn’t want to “share” her sister with someone else. But she loved Rose so much that she was eager to sacrifice everything for her. Rose couldn’t have children and Eliza gave birth to a baby from Nathaniel, Rose’s husband. And she gave her daughter, Ivory, to Rose as if it was her baby. But Rose wasn’t thankful to Eliza for this great gift – she started to hate her, because she had relations with her husband. So Eliza moved from the big house to a small cottage near it. And in the end she died trying to run away with her daughter.
Nathaniel Walker is Eliza’s father. He was born in New York to Polish immigrant parents, Antoni and Marya Walker. “His father worked on the city wharves and his mother took in laundry and raised their six children, of whom Nathaniel was the third. Two of his siblings died of various fevers and Nathaniel was set to follow his father onto the wharves when a picture he had been sketching on a New York street was noticed by passer-by Walter Irving Jnr, heir to the Irving oil fortune, who commissioned Nathaniel to paint his portrait.” Under his patron's wing, Nathaniel became a well-known member of New York's burgeoning society. In 1907 Nathaniel met Rose Mountrachet. They were married the following year. Nathaniel's reputation continued to grow after his marriage and relocation to England, “and the pinnacle of his career was the commission in early 1910 for him to paint what would be King Edward VII's final portrait.” Nathaniel had one daughter, Ivory Walker, born by Eliza. He made illustrations to her book of fairytales. Nathaniel and his wife were killed in 1913 when their railway train and another collided and caught fire.
Rose Mountrachet (Walker)
Rose Mountrachet (Walker) was a daughter of noble parents – Adeline and Linus Mountrachets. The author describes her having “white skin, a cloud of dark hair swept back in a loose braid, and the full bosom so fashionable in the period.” She was quite sickly for all her life. When she was a child, a doctor “treating” her made her infertile. This inability actually affected whole her adult life: she thought that her main role in life is to give life to a baby for her husband. And as she couldn’t fulfill this role, she felt useless in this life. Being cheerful and easy-going girl before marriage, she became angry and exasperated woman after it.
Adeline Mountrachet was Rose’s mother. She was born in a poor family and appeared in the Mountrachets’ house as a companion for Georgiana M. (Eliza’s mother). When Georgiana run away from the house, Adeline wasn’t going to disappear to, she got married with Linus Mountrachet and gave a birth to Rose. Though she wasn’t actually of noble origin, she pretended to behave as if she was so.
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