"I remembered the same time, last year, when Michael wasn't in my life. It was the scariest feeling in the world."Page 246
Josie says this about her father Michael, and shows that she has forgiven him for everything he's done in the past and that she now cares for him. The 'scariest feeling in the world' that Josie refers to symbolises growing up, and how much things have changed for her in the past year. Josie's acceptance of her father has been a major aspect of this change, and though she feels a sense of fulfillment that her father is now a vital part of her life, she is still amazed at how much of a whirlwind her senior year has been.
“Tell me, what comes first? What other people think of your family, or love?”Page 196
Christina tries to tell Josie that it doesn't matter what other people think; if you love your family, you shouldn't be ashamed of such a sentiment. She is saying that Josie shouldn't be so affected by other peple's opinion because love should be more important. Josie's whole life, she's struggled with accepting her Italian culture and illegitimacy of her birth, leaving a strain on her relationship with her mother and Nonna. She's felt out of place at school for those reasons, and for being different to most of the other students there, as their families are all very wealthy and seemingly perfect. However, throughout her final year of high school, many events have allowed Josie to realise that her family is unique and special to her, and so is her culture.
“I remembered when we spoke about our emancipation. The horror is that he had to die to achieve his. The beauty is that I’m living to achieve mine.”Page 240
Josie shares that she has learned a lot from John and that he has helped her mature. They have discussed a common problem together, and they confided in each other about what they wanted to achieve. She realises that everyone has problems, and that she has a lot to be grateful for. She feels that she's lucky to have time to still achieve what she wants in life.
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Josie is lighthearted and somewhat flighty; she's ready to leave high school behind and wants to get on with the rest of her life. Her relationships with her mother and her grandmother are somewhat strained, but she loves both of them very much, even if she has difficulty showing it. When her father comes back into her life she wants nothing to do with him; she resents him deeply for what he did to her mother and takes a very long time to warm to him. She's fiercely protective of the people she loves and is a dreamer; she wants to go to university to become a barrister.
Jacob Coote is rough around the edges- he can be a bit of a troublemaker and has a temper, but beneath it he has a very good heart. He’s fiercely opinionated and doesn’t care what other people think of him. Jacob has had a rough life emotionally- he lost his mother when he was young- and takes care of the people he loves.
John is a smart, quiet boy who goes to school with Josie. He’s very kind and looks out for his friends, and plans on going into politics- all of the men in his family, going back several generations, have been politicians. He doesn’t really want to go into government, but knows that it’s expected of him. He’s a very wholesome, good kid, and Josie has had a crush on him for years.
Katia is a very traditional Italian housewife, who is an excellent seamstress and an even better cook. She’s strict and doesn’t show affection very often, and has very traditional expectations for her daughter and granddaughter, and as a result doesn’t have the warmest of relationships with them. However, it’s obvious that she cares about them. She has a lot of secrets that she hides from her family, but eventually shares them.
Christina is Josie’s mother and is very protective of her daughter, sometimes overly so. Her relationship with her mother can be strained, but she clearly loves both her and Josie. She never regrets getting pregnant unexpectedly, even though Michael Andretti left her high and dry and to this day refuses to acknowledge his daughter.
Michael is Josie’s father, who wanted nothing to do with her when she was a baby and is still extremely reluctant to get to know her as a teenager. He’s very successful, and eventually warms to his daughter, but they never have an incredible relationship.
Greg was abused by his father when he was little, and became abusive towards Josie when they were both grown up.