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Early-Sunday-Morning

Amber pictured on the cover

All of the characters that appear in Early Sunday Morning by Barry Denenberg.

Main characters[]

Amber Billows[]

Main article: Amber Billows

Amber Billows (born May 9,[1] 1929)[2] was the daughter of Al and Anne Billows. She was also the younger sister of Andy, who was three years older than her. Amber disliked that her family moved so often for her father's job since she had a hard time making friends. In November 1941, the family moved to Oahu, Hawaii. There she quickly became good friends with Kame Arata, a Japanese-American. On December 7, 1941, Amber and her family witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Supporting characters[]

Al Billows[]

Al[3] Billows ("Dad") was the father of Andy and Amber, and the husband of Anne Billows. He graduated from Harvard University. Al met Anne while working at a bookstore during college. He went on to have a successful job as a reporter which required his family to move often. His interests were politics and world affairs, which were also the subjects of his reporting. In November 1941, Al was transferred to Oahu, Hawaii. He took up golfing to socialize with navy men like Lieutenant Lockhart for his articles. After the Pearl Harbor attack, Al was kept busy with constant safety instructions, such as building a bomb shelter. The family was eventually evacuated.

Andy Billows[]

Andy Billows (born November 11, 1925)[4] was the older brother of Amber and only son of Al and Anne Billows. He wanted to be a reporter like his father. Andy was a baseball fanatic and followed the National League teams, particularly the Brooklyn Dodgers. He had a sizable collection of baseball cards and, according to Amber, judged people based on their collections. He also suffered from asthma. Unlike Amber, he did not mind moving since he was able to easily make new friends. In November 1941, he and his family moved to Hawaii, where he predictably made lots of friends. He witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor and was later evacuated with his family.

Anne Billows[]

Anne[3] Billows ("Mom") was the wife of Al and mother of Andy and Amber. Anne was working as a nurse, when she met Al. She was supportive of her husband's job. Al also gave her final approval of his articles. Anne liked it the most when her husband's job sent him to Boston, where she was born and her parents lived. She was a talented cook and held dinner parties for which she was famous for. Anne was deeply against Isolationism. The family moved to Hawaii in November 1941, at which point Anne was pregnant. After the Japanese attacked in December, Anne used her nursing skills to help at the hospital. The family returned to the States later the same month.

Kame Arata[]

Kame Arata (died 1951)[5] was a good friend of Amber. Her parents were from Japan, before moving to Hawaii where Kame was born. Kame's name meant "turtle" in Japanese. She quickly became friends with Amber after meeting her in November 1941. On December 7, Kame's father was taken away after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Over the next weeks, her relationship with her mother became strained, leading her to stay with her aunt. In 1942, the family was sent to Jerome Relocation Center after her father was released. Kame married in 1949 and gave birth to Grace a year later. She and her husband were later killed in a car accident.

Mr. Poole[]

Mr. Poole (c. 1887[6] – December 7, 1941)[7] was a second-hand bookshop owner in Hawaii. He was an extremely friendly and likable person. Al and him almost immediately became friends, inviting Mr. Poole to lunch soon after meeting him. He became good friends with the rest of the Billows family in the short time they knew him. Al later invited him and to Thanksgiving. Mr. Poole did not get along with the other guest, Lieutenant Lockhart, who had racist views on Japanese people. He died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when an American antiaircraft shell struck his shop by accident and set it on fire.

Minor characters[]

  • Allison was Amber Billows' best friend in Washington, D.C.. She was not close to her family and felt more comfortable around Amber's family. At first, she was mad at Amber when she told her about moving to Hawaii and would not speak to her. They made up before Amber left. Allison wrote several letters to Amber
  • Mr. Arata was the father of Kame and her two brothers who owned a tea importing company. He and his wife were from Japan. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, he was taken away by the military. He released in 1942 and sent to an internment with the rest of his family.
  • Mrs. Arata was the mother of Kame and her two brothers. She was usually quiet, which was expected of a Japanese wife. After her husband was taken away, her relationship with Kame became increasingly strained. She and her family were sent to an internment camp in 1942.
  • Billows (born May? 1942),[1] whose first name was not yet picked out, was the sibling of Amber and Andy. Their mother,Anne, was pregnant with them when the family left Hawaii in December 1941. The baby was due to be born in May 1942.
  • Charles Lindbergh was an Isolationist, someone who believed that the United States should not become involved in the war. Anne deeply disliked him due to this.
  • Mr. Gould was Amber's teacher in Washington. She disliked him and referred to him as "Mr. Ghoul."
  • Miss Kozuke was Kame's aunt and the sister of Mrs. Arata. Unlike her sister, she was considered "more modern." Kame was close to her and later moved in with her, after her father was taken away. The Billows' later invited Miss Kozuke to Christmas dinner. She was sent to an internment camp in 1942.
  • Lieutenant Lockhart (died 1944)[5] was an officer on the USS Arizona. Al invited him to Thanksgiving in 1941. Lockhart was injured during the attack, which required his legs to be amputated. In 1943, he and his wife were divorced. He committed suicide the following year.
  • Sylvia Prescott was a classmate of Amber in Washington, D.C. She reportedly "worship[ed]" Amber, whom apparently thought Sylvia was "a little boring."

Epilogue characters[]

  • Grace (born 1950)[5] was the daughter of Kame Arata. She was orphaned at fourteen months old. Grace was later adopted by Kame's childhood friend Amber Billows.

References[]

See also[]


Dear America characters
Main characters

Remember "Mem" Whipple | Deliverance Trembley | Lozette Moreau | Catharine Logan | Prudence Emerson
Abigail Stewart | Lucinda Lawrence | María Rosalia de Milagros | Hattie Campbell | Mary Driscoll
Florence "Florrie" Mack Ryder | Susanna Fairchild | Clotee Henley | Amelia Martin | Emma Simpson
Sarah Nita | Phillis "Patsy" Frederick | Libby West | Priscilla "Pringle" Rose | Mary "Polly" Rodgers
Nannie Little Rose | Angeline Reddy | Sarah Jane Price | Teresa Viscardi | Anetka Kaminska
Zipporah Feldman | Minette "Minnie" Bonner | Angela Denoto | Margaret Ann Brady | Kathleen Bowen
Simone Spencer | Lydia Pierce | Nell "Nellie Lee" Love | Bess Brennan | Minerva "Minnie" Swift | Grace Edwards
Julie Weiss | Madeline Beck | Amber Billows | Piper Davis | Dawn "Dawnie Rae" Johnson | Molly Flaherty

Supporting characters

Antoinetta Viscardi | Leon Nasevich | Daniel Pierce | Erma Jean Love | Patrick Flaherty

Lists of characters by book

A Journey to the New World | I Walk in Dread | Look to the Hills | Standing in the Light
Love Thy Neighbor | The Winter of Red Snow | Cannons at Dawn | A Line in the Sand
Valley of the Moon | Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie | So Far from Home | All the Stars in the Sky
Seeds of Hope | A Picture of Freedom | A Light in the Storm | When Will This Cruel War Be Over?
The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow | I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly | The Great Railroad Race
Down the Rabbit Hole | Land of the Buffalo Bones | My Heart Is on the Ground | Behind the Masks
My Face to the Wind | West to a Land of Plenty | A Coal Miner's Bride | Dreams in the Golden Country
A City Tossed and Broken | Hear My Sorrow | Voyage on the Great Titanic | A Time for Courage
When Christmas Comes Again | Like the Willow Tree | Color Me Dark | Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Christmas After All | Survival in the Storm | One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping
My Secret War | Early Sunday Morning | The Fences Between Us | With the Might of Angels
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

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