Bev is a friend of Lucy. She runs the Animal Welfare clinic that David helps out at when he stays at Lucy’s home.
Bill is Bev’s husband.
David is the central protagonist and is described at the beginning of the novel as 52 years old, twice divorced and an adjunct Professor of Communications. He used to be a Professor of Modern Languages until the closure of his department. His affair with Melanie Isaacs, who is one of his students, becomes public knowledge and his departure from the university may be seen to be one of the forms of disgrace that color the narrative.
Desiree is the younger sister of Melanie.
This is Melanie’s father.
Lucy is the daughter of David and is raped when her isolated rural home is robbed by three men. She makes the decision to keep the child that is the product of this multiple rape.
She is a student of David’s and enters into a sexual relationship with him.
Petrus is a neighbor of Lucy and her former employee.
He is the youngest of the men who raped Lucy and is believed to be a brother of Petrus’s wife.
This is the second (and ex) wife of David.
Ryan is the boyfriend of Melanie.
Soraya appears at the beginning of the novel and is a prostitute that David visits every Thursday afternoon.