Author note: As a celebration of finishing my fifth novel I’m going to once a week for the next five weeks do presentations of characters from my newest novel “I Love You Nora Whispered”. It’s a story set in England during the 1940s.
In this post I want to focus on minor characters, the families that Katherine and Nora come from.
The Waterhouse Family
Simon Waterhouse had done what he could to not be drafted but as a young able-bodied man he didn’t have much choice. He was stationed in the German Colonies in North Africa during the World War One and on his deployments between Europe and Africa he stopped in Italy, being absolutely besotted with a young Italian waitress called Sandrine. During the last trip, he took her with him back home.
Sandrine had never dreamt of living anywhere other than Italy but she fell in love with the British countryside. He was an equestrian and moved them into a house next to the stable. Sandrine never learned to ride, having too much respect for horses but she encouraged the different vocation that let her husband work from home.
They had two children, Leonard and just two years later Katherine. When Leonard and Katherine were teenagers both Simon and Leonard were drafted into the World War Two. Simon had managed well in the first war but was badly injured in the second leading him useless on horseback, his career was over. Leonard was never interested in horses and after the war he simply didn’t come back. He found a British girl at the end of the war and eloped with her.
Simon is happy on the surface, training and sponsoring young riders not to mention running the stud farm. He had placed all hope in Leonard to take over the farm and his love of horses but that didn’t happen. All that is left is Katherine and while Simon loves her, it’s not what he had expected.
Sandrine is genuinely happy; she enjoys being a high society wife and she has enjoyed being a mother good enough. She reads feminist literature even though she is, deep at heart, rather traditional.
The Lakes Family
Ma and Pa (Eleanore and Thomas Senior) Lakes are busy and poor but with a lot of love. They have 11 children at the beginning of the book and even though Nora’s parents should have shown a bit of restraint, they love each of their children. The main income for the family comes from Eleanore’s washhouse that she owns and runs with the help of the children.
Speaking of the children:
Thomas, aged 27, lives with a family of his own in another part of London. He doesn’t have much contact with his family, fought in WW2 and wasn’t the same after.
Mary, aged 25, lives with her husband and her baby Benjamin. She misses her sisters a lot and love when they come to visit.
Edward, dead at the age of 20. He died during WW2.
Martha, aged 23.
Nora, aged 19.
John, aged 16. Awkward and shy. Doesn’t talk much. Keeps his head down and works hard. His father’s pride.
Emily, aged 14. Wild and uncontrollable. Loves make up and wants a boyfriend more than anything.
Rose, aged 12. Wants to be like Emily more than anything. Sometimes Emily is her best friend; sometimes her enemy.
Robert, aged 9. Whiny and insecure. His oldest sister bully him.
Eunice, aged 6. A little tomboy. Hangs after Robert even though he wishes she didn’t.
Anne, aged 4. Inquisitive and caring. She loves Nora a lot and they spend a lot of time together.