Portrait of a Character – Marie Helêne Ducasse O’Day
Marie Helêne Ducasse O’Day was originally not to be seen.
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. And therefore, Lili needed to have parents, even briefly.
I have no idea who this woman is. The image comes 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 painting on the little girl’s face. I mean no disrespect in continuing to use this image.
If I were to cast Marie Helêne now, I would choose a middle-aged blonde actress, possibly someone like Mary Stuart Masterson. As a bonus, I ‘cast’ Ms. Masterson in a wholly original trilogy, The Obolonk Murders. I like this smart and lovely actress who feels natural-looking.
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 passes along to Lili and to two of her three grandchildren, who she never sees, Declan Reed and Marie Patrice Beckett.
Peter Thomas O’Day
Marie Helêne’s only known relationship is with Pete. They have a good relationship in both universes.
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.
However, in the Mirror Universe, Pete Marie Helênedeliberately set the fatal house fire. This is because they have no other options.
“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.”
Historical circumstances make it so that this character can’t appear much more than she already has. But any time I write Lili remembering her childhood, Marie Helêne isn’t far behind.
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