Portrait of a Character – Linda Orenstein Shapiro

Portrait of a Character – Linda Orenstein Shapiro

Linda Orenstein Shapiro shows up in two rather different stories.


As I wrote The Light, I wanted Ethan Shapiro to contact his mother as a part of discussing his Aunt Rachel’s death. Rachel is also Linda’s aunt. Linda is named after two of my aunts.


Portrait of a Character – Linda Orenstein Shapiro

Valerie Harper as Linda Orenstein Shapiro

Linda is played by actress Valerie Harper. I like the idea of a semi-wisecracking woman in this role. She is a fairly clichéd role, so to my mind that makes some sense.

Funny, though, the actress is actually not Jewish. But I still see her in the role.


A bit of a worrier, and deeply religious, Linda is seen only twice. Once is in the context of Rachel’s death. The other time is in a fevered coma dream during Entanglements.  Ethan asks if he will ever fall in love. Linda responds, “I think that will happen. Just be patient, Ethan. And remember – she might not look like what you think she should. But that doesn’t matter. Look with your heart, and see with your soul.”


Linda’s only known relationship is with Ethan’s father, who I don’t believe I have ever actually named.

Mirror Universe

It is possible that Linda exists in the Mirror Universe.

Portrait of a Character – Linda Orenstein Shapiro

Valerie Harper as Mirror Linda (image is provided for educational purposes)

Ethan (at least, the Ethan who is her son) does not. But that does not preclude her own existence there.

Women in the Mirror Universe need to remain attractive longer (at least, as I write them), so she would possibly have surgery or at least be a serious user of makeup.


“It’s a shonda, so few Jews on board. Andrew; you’ll call your mother for Chanukah, right?”


I particularly loved bringing Linda back for another round, to comfort a comatose Ethan and give him some hope for the future. In a way, much like Ian does for Lili, Linda predicts the future for Ethan, and shows him that the path might be somewhat crooked, but it will all work out in the end.

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Posted by jespah

Shuttlepod pilot, fan fiction writer, sentient marsupial canid.