Imagining Characters

Sweeter Than Wine (Post 3)



Yves’ face grows even redder. The artery in his neck stands out . . . . ‘God knows how many of a brood she’ll give him before he’s done with his career of learning.’

‘So, you’d rather he screwed around in one-night stands with horny undergrads. Or went with whores . . .’ He’s making me angry now. ‘. . . risking STDs or worse? This is one relationship you won’t screw up, Yves Ravel. I fucking won’t let you!’

Next to Nicole and Andy, the most important character in Sweeter Than Wine is Cathy. Married into one of the oldest winegrowing families in Bordeaux. Anglo-Scottish Cathy, who teaches English at a local high school, is able to rise above her own personal sadness to be the friend, mentor and confidante that Nicole needs at a pivotal moment in her life. Cathy is fond of wine, chocolates, literature and the occasional expletive.


‘I’m flighty. Unreliable. A liar. A soft touch when it comes to men. She’s serious, strong. Sometimes I feel she can’t be my daughter at all . . .’

Denise, Nicole’s mother, is everything a mother shouldn’t be – unreliable and untruthful, with a history of drug addiction and sleazy relationships. She has been given a second chance; the question is, can she, will she take it?


‘But remember, ma chérie, sometimes unexpected good can come from a great wrong.’

Madeleine, Nicole’s grandmother (Mamie) is the woman who caught the fall-out from the consequences of Denise’s breakdown. She and her husband have supported Nicole financially and helped her through school. But these are things grandparents are supposed to do. Madeleine hasn’t given up on Denise – yet.

More than any other character, Madeleine Durand is based on a real person.

A final post will look briefly at my novel’s minor male characters.




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