Another novel character revealed

I’ve been missing my characters while my novel is in the eyes and hands of my beta readers. So I thought I’d share another one of the four main characters with you. I’ve patterned this character after my father, who in the novel is:

Charles: son of Ira and Ruth Schuman. Ava Schuman’s older brother


  • Name Chaim/Charles/Charlie Benjamin Schuman
  • He appears as a little boy in the beginning.
  • Physical appearance: As a grownup he is short only 5 ft, 7 in. (only an inch taller than his father), slim, has dark curly hair lots of it, very large brown eyes, olive complexion. Looks great in a business suit and tie. Wears rimless glasses
  • Learns English very quickly while he is on the ship coming over from Poland. Speaks pretty much without an accent though has trouble pronouncing Vs
  • The deaths of his little brothers nag at him. He is very protective of his little sister and mother and father as a result. A good brother and son
  • Very inquisitive and outgoing. He goes to college in Chicago and then on to law school at night. He works in the textile business during the day.
  • One of Ava’s boarding house friends thinks he’s cute. Ava thinks he’s too uptight and works too hard. He rarely goes out and has fun.
  • Because of his innate prejudice against non-Jews, he acts decisively as soon as he hears his sister is involved with a gentile. He precipitates Ava’s move to Chicago to get her away and doesn’t accept that she goes back to Danville to marry him. That he still loves his sister is a great conflict for him at the end.
  • How he acts habitually: all work and no play. He even works as a kid in Sokolow and at Maxwell Street and too busy to take good care of Ava when he moves her to a boarding house in Chicago.
  • His favorite foods, clothes, styles, movies: He won’t touch anything non-Kosher. He loves his mama’s brisket and strudel and three-piece pin stripped suits, starched collars and cuffs, colorful ties. He likes cowboy and cops and robbers movies as a boy.
  • What does he want more than anything else in the world: for his sister to marry a nice Jewish man so he doesn’t have to worry about her
  • Fears: he won’t find a woman, he won’t be successful in work, that Ava won’t marry a Jewish man
  • What it’s like being inside his body: he feels inadequate when it comes to meeting women but very confident in the business world. He loves the schemata business and the hubbub of Chicago’s Maxwell Street and Merchandise Mart. He likes the competition.
  • Fast stride when he walks
  • Plays the violin as a child and young adult very good at it
  • Has a business sense even at a young age sells violin models he creates at his village Farmers’ Market in Poland
  • First in family to go to college and first to go to and graduate from law school
  • Has an artist’s flair
  • Likes music especially opera
  • Doesn’t exercise though he plays golf early on; likes to swim though he doesn’t have good technical skills
  • Takes a lot to get him to smile
  • Opinionated, strong-willed, one way doesn’t like it when people try to cross him
  • He knows how to pull strings and get things done, kind of ruthless

Please let me know what you think of Charles. Is he a little too dictatorial and uptight? Or is he rightfully over protective of his little sister? 


  1. Awe-inspiring detail of character. Madeline is my role model for writing!

    • Madeline Sharples says

      Thanks so much, Lilian. I appreciate being your role model. It’s like the blind leading the blind, since this is my first novel. I hope my characters work up to their full potential within the novel. All best, Madeline

  2. Madeline, I am amazed by the degree of research that you’ve done here and the details you have listed in preparation for the release of your first novel. It certainly whets my appetite about your book and the people in it. I can see why you miss your characters after the painstaking task of bringing them alive on the page. Best wishes in your publication journey!

    • Madeline Sharples says

      Kathy, I very much appreciate your comments. I hope you’ll read my book when and if it comes out. I feel like I still have a long way to go. All best to you too.

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