Seen here, (left to right): James Louis Grenville (age 11), Rebecca Jane Grenville (age 15), and Robert Dubois Grenville (age 13)
The younger children will not play any major roles in "Yankee Reconstructed," primarily because of their ages. The upheavals, riots, and political arguments of Reconstruction occur in the streets, and the Grenvilles do their best to protect the children from exposure to them. They are bit players, however, and they will be around to liven up family dinners and sometimes to inform us of what's going on through the wisdom of a child's eyes.
Becca is the oldest, and at fifteen she is hovering on the brink of adulthood. That fact sometimes scares her and often saddens her. In her own words, she wishes to be nothing more than a house cat--safe, well-fed, loved, protected, and allowed to curl up all by herself in a patch of sun. She still loves her music lessons, emulating her mother as she has before her tiny feet could reach the melodeon pedals. She reads voraciously, but is content to experience life on the printed page rather than in the round.
Robbie, at age 13, is even more miserable at the idea of growing up. His older brothers have provided him with unenviable examples. He would not be a fighter like Johnny, and he can still barely look at his brother's artificial leg. Nor does he want to be as hard a worker as Eddie. From the time of his first experience with a porcupine, he has tried to avoid the outdoors. He has no love of horses and cattle, either. Much like Becca, he would rather live in a book, although his reading tastes tend more to history and science than to fiction.
Then, of course, there is Jamey, the family ne'er-do-well. From babyhood he has been both indulged and ignored, turning him into a demanding and trouble-making element in a family that does its best to keep the peace at all costs. Perhaps he will mature and change in the course of this book, but his emerging character is still something of a mystery, even to me.