Charlotte, the oldest Grenville child, had always been stubborn, willful, and petulant. Susan and Jonathan both had learned to hold their breath and walk softly when she was around. But by the time the war was over, life had worked a number of changed upon her.
Two husbands and four children had taught her to stop putting her own needs before those of her family. When she returned to Charleston for her grandmother's funeral, she came to be helpful. True, when Susan looked at her, she could see the marks of tragedy written in the lines of her face. Her eyes no longer squinted in scorn or glared in anger; they looked outward with caution, waiting to see what each new day would bring. She was thinner and more serious than she used to be. And her severe hairstyle and mourning clothes made her seem older than her years.
But in her old family circle, she blossomed into her mother's best friend and quickest helpmate. Why, then, did Susan worry so about her? Had the family circumstances broken her spirit?