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  • Writer's pictureRaelyn Teague

Meet the Characters of "The Wolf's Name": Matilda

Hey readers! At last we get to meet one of the most important people in Olive's life, the woman who features most prominently in her journal, and the central figure of the fairy tale Olive seemed to be writing: her big sister Matilda.

July 11th, 1890

It will be Matilda’s birthday tomorrow, dear journal. She gave you to me on my mine, and you’ve given me a means to calm memories begging me to not let them wither. With each filled page you have brought me peace.

Matilda, too, brought me more peace than she knows. She believes it was Nathaniel alone who sustained us through our hardships, but even before that responsibility became Matilda’s, she held us—me—together in ways I’m not certain I’ll ever adequately describe.

I don’t know if it was the devastation left behind after Mother’s passing to blame, the instinct to cut away the parts of myself where pain had taken root, but I struggled to remember her. By the time I realized the last connection I had with her was fading, it was nearly too late.

When Matilda found me weeping before Mother’s portrait as I realized not even her image brought back memories, Matilda sat with me by the hearth and recited each of her own memories to me. Though she has now forgotten the tune herself, Matilda taught me the lullaby Mother sang to us when we were small. In the nostalgic cadence of Matilda’s humming, I remembered the lilt of Mother’s voice carrying the same tune. I remembered Mother kissing the top of my head as she braided my hair, Mother reading to me by my bedside when I’d caught a fever, my own stumbling voice as I read to her through the closed bedroom door when she’d caught worse.

As painful as those memories can be, I cherish each one Matilda returned to me. I want to ensure she remembers hers. She gave you to me on my birthday and I’d planned to hold onto you forever, but now that I’ve filled your pages with all the love and lament, the triumphs and tragedies, of my sister’s adventure, I think it only fitting I return you to her for her birthday.

Farewell, dear journal! May you soothe Matilda’s soul and warm her heart as you’ve done for me.

The Wolf's Name is now available for preorder. Find out more here.


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