Meet the Characters of "The Wolf's Name": Joseph
Hey readers! Over the past few days Olive has introduced us to the annoying older brother, the gentle older brother, and the terrifying local witch. Maybe it's time to brighten the mood. Here, Olive tells us about a sweet young man in her family's lives: Joseph.
May 21st, 1890
I’ve pondered what I should write about Joseph Harrison. It’s difficult for any one memory to summarize a complex man I’ve known my whole life, a man who was friend and saviour for years not only to Nathaniel but to my entire family. A man who remained close to us in the darkest days and months of our adventure when others turned their backs. A man so closely entwined with Matilda’s story it cannot be told without him.
Should I mention how Joseph thought Nathaniel performing his mesmeric mind tricks on stage was ill-advised but still bought tickets for he and Mother Harrison to watch from the front row? How he’d spent the whole evening afterward celebrating Nathaniel’s success?
Or should I tell of the time Elliot and I found Joseph dozing in his chair after a long day? How he’d dreamily muttered Matilda’s name, and when Elliot later joked about it, Joseph had bribed us into secrecy with enough pastries to make us ill? I had thought it sweet—both the pastries and Joseph’s rare embarrassment. He usually seemed blissfully confident and carefree.
But Matilda says he wasn’t always, that Joseph was once a rough boy. I’ve heard boys sometimes show affection by teasing the girls they like too harshly, though I’ve never understood why they think that will earn them any graces. Joseph certainly didn’t earn graces with Matilda then, though he earned plenty after he grew up to be so princely.
My sister is more sensitive than she pretends, so perhaps her judgement of his boyhood is prejudiced, but I do recall a time when Joseph was slower to offer clever smiles like the one I attempted to capture here.
He was quiet, like me. He often spoke only when Mother Harrison coerced him or when decorum demanded it. I understand that behaviour well, but Matilda battles her demons head on. She never fully understood that silent avoidance and isolation are how some of us contain ours.
But I wonder if that’s why Joseph was drawn to her—that Matilda knew the hurt the past could inflict but refused to let it cow her. Did Joseph find her as inspiring as I do?
The Wolf's Name is now available for preorder. Find out more here.