Lily Owens is a complex character that went through a trauma in her childhood that affects her as we read the first chapter. She lives alone with her father after her mother died in an accident years before. Her father, T. Ray, owns a peach farm and has Lily working at a peach stand to sell them during the summer. Lily and T. Ray have a black maid, Rosaleen, who Lily sees as a surrogate mother. She even fantasizes about Rosaleen being white and marrying T. Ray, or her and T. Ray being black and living like a family with Rosaleen.
Lily seeks attention and love from T. Ray, but knows that he will not give it to her freely. After an accident when she was around four years old, in which she killed her mother with a gun she picked up off the floor, her father, T. Ray rarely acknowledges her. He makes her work for him during the summers, he doesn’t buy her things, and he doesn’t acknowledge any of her attempts for attention and affection. T. Ray doesn’t allow her to read even though she has ‘scored the highest number a human being can get on their verbal aptitude test’ because he says that he cannot afford to send her to college. Because of this Lily never thought of aspiring to anything other than working for T. Ray, but when her teachers told her otherwise, it opened her eyes to the possibility of a future for her.
Lily in appearance is a young teen who is fourteen years old, with ‘un-cool’ clothes and wild hair. Her clothes are un-cool because she makes them herself and T. Ray doesn’t want to waste money on things like clothes for young girls. Lily believes her eyes are nice like ‘Sophia Loren’s’ and that she doesn’t have much of a chin. Her description of her hair was that ‘it was constantly going off in eleven wrong directions’ and that her ‘black hair is a nest of cowlicks’. She is disappointed with how she looks and thinks that she has a hard time ‘being a girl’.
Lily’s mom’s name was Deborah, which T. Ray refuses to say. T. Ray rarely tells Lily things...
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