Portrait of a Character – Marie Helêne Ducasse O’Day

Portrait of a Character – Marie Helêne Ducasse O’Day

Origins

In order to explain why Lili O’Day was so isolated in Reversal, I needed for her family to be gone. As a result, I randomly chose a house fire, at age nine, as being the cause of her orphaning. As a result, Lili needed to have parents, even briefly.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Marie Helêne Ducasse O’Day
Nine-year-old Lili with Marie Helêne

I have no idea who this woman is. The image was taken from Flickr, and I was really looking for a fair-skinned and fair-haired girl of the right age. The woman’s image was a bonus, as was the little girl’s painted face.

If I were to cast Marie Helêne now,  I would choose a middle-aged blonde actress, possibly someone like Mary Stuart Masterson.

Personality

Smart and artistic, Marie Helêne is a potter in both universes. In the Mirror, that makes her something of an elite. In the prime universe, her artistic bent is passed along to Lili and to two of her three grandchildren, who she never sees, Declan Reed and Marie Patrice Beckett.

Relationships

Peter Thomas O’Day

Marie Helêne’s only known relationship is with Pete. They have a good relationship in both universes.

Mirror Universe

In the Mirror, Peter and Marie Helêne have a difficult life, as Pete says something he’s not supposed to, and inadvertently is branded a dissident.

Mary Stuart Masterson as Mirror Universe Marie Helêne Ducasse O’Day
Mary Stuart Masterson by David Shankbone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the Mirror Universe, the house fire is deliberately set by him and Marie Helêne, as they have no other options.

Quote

“They’ll never let you come back. And the kids and me, we’ll never recover. Charlotte will end up turning tricks this afternoon, or I will! And Declan will become a thief, if he’s lucky, and he lives that long.”

Upshot

Historical circumstances make it so that this character can’t be seen much more than she already has been. But any time I write Lili remembering her childhood, Marie Helêne isn’t far behind.

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