A 15-year-old girl who is verging on womanhood, the daughter of a wealthy man from Boston, who spends the summer of 1899 at the New Hampshire seashore. Being educated by her father, it has been four years since she went to school with other girls. She has an artistic eye and can appreciate art in unusual places. Her hair is heavy and oak-colored.
Phillip Arthur Biddeford
A wealthy, middle-aged man from Boston. He works as a publisher of books and has traveled the world. He has graying ginger-colored hair and striking navy eyes. His face is long, although he would not be considered thin. He is home-schooling his daughter, having lost faith in the academic system. He considers her education to be unsurpassed in New England, if not the entire country.
A fragile woman with a preference for blue, an excessive femininity and a great regard for beauty. Her preservation of her own beauty seems to have overcome her life allowing her to do nothing else but preserve it. Her dyed red hair is rolled in a series of complex knots. She is considered an invalid and is visited regularly by a physician, although her daughter sees no signs of ailment. While she rarely leaves the house, she will play the piano, which she does with great skill, with spirit.
A man of medicine and letters who visits the beach house to visit with Olympia’s family. He is also an essayist who writes sympathetically about labor reform, including improving lives and conditions for mill girls. He visits Ely Falls for the summer to offer his services as a physician to the workers at the mill. Broad-shouldered and 40 years old, he is also a photographer.
The beautiful, alabaster-skinned wife of John Haskell, quite the opposite of Rosamund Biddeford, although equally gorgeous. She also plays the piano and exhibits a casual elegance.