Billy is a neighbor of the family and few restraints are placed on him by his father (who, like Rex, is an alcoholic).
Brian is the only boy of the Walls children and is slightly younger than Jeannette.
Although Dinitia was one of a group of girls who bullied Jeannette when the family first moved to Welch, she went on to become a friend.
Erma (Grandma Walls)
She is described as monstrous and sexually abusive, and it is through descriptions of her that readers and the children come to have some understanding as to why Rex – the children’s father – behaves as he does.
This is one of the local children in Welch who picked on Jeannette and Brian.
This is Jeannette’s maternal grandmother and she is depicted as both wealthy and controlling of Jeannette’s mother as she grew up. She is also loved by Jeannette.
He is a largely background character who is seen to have little influence on his family.
This is the woman who encouraged Jeannette’s father when she taught him English, and also encouraged Jeannette when she worked on the school newspaper. It is of further significance that Jeannette was named after her, and the extra ‘n’ was added by her mother to make her name sound more French.
This is an autobiographical work and Jeannette is the author and the first-person narrator throughout.
Lori is the eldest of the Walls siblings and is characterized by her relative closeness to their mother and by her artistic bent.
Maureen is the youngest sibling of the Walls children.
This is the father of the children and he is characterized by his high intelligence, alcoholism and at times limitless selfishness. He is also depicted as loving Jeannette.
Rose Mary Walls
This is the mother of the children and, in contrast to her husband, we are told how she comes from a relatively wealthy family. She is described as artistic and a lover of freedom, but as with her husband she is also often unthinking about the care of their children as they grow up.
He is the brother of the children’s father and is depicted as having learning difficulties. He is also described as attempting to sexually assault Jeannette.