Trevor is the protagonist and narrator of the story, which follows him as he grows from a very young child into a man in his early twenties.
The mother of Trevor, and a major character in the memoir. She made the radical choice to have a mixed-race child at a time when this was illegal in South Africa.
Trevor's father, a white man of Swiss German descent. He is a presence in Trevor's early childhood but the two gradually become estranged.
Trevor's younger half-brother, the son of Patricia and Abel.
Trevor's youngest half-brother, the son of Patricia and Abel.
Trevor's stepfather. He marries Patricia and fathers two sons with her. He is a physically abusive alcoholic who shoots and tries to kill Patricia.
Trevor's maternal grandfather.
Trevor's maternal grandmother.
Trevor's aunt and uncle; Sibongile is Patricia's sister, and Dinky is her husband.
Trevor's cousin, the child of Sibongile and Dinky.
Trevor's childhood friend, the son of a domestic worker.
Trevor's friend who encourages and entices him into a number of schemes and plans.
Trevor's friend who introduces him to the neighborhood known as Alexandra and works with him to hustle and attempt to make money there.