Twin sister to Jinny and maternal aunt to Ryan and Mark, Josie – unlike her sibling – was able to find success in life and graduate from Penn State University in the field of law. However, she still holds strong ties to her sister’s family, often providing parental support for Ryan and Mark when Simon refuses to help.
Much like Mark, from the very beginning I had envisaged Jinny having a twin sister, the reason being to juxtapose what the former could have been if she’d invested her drive and ambition into worthwhile endeavours, rather than wasting it on immature pranks and acts that ultimately cost her everything.
Josie is very much the yin to Jinny’s yang, while the latter had a much larger personality with her japes and practical jokes, the former was quiet and understated, silently getting on with her studies as her more bombastic twin sowed the seeds of her own social destruction.
The most important factor I wanted to instil in Josie is her meek, humble but kind-hearted nature, a woman who doesn’t hold a grudge against her sibling for the jokes and eventual disgrace she brought upon her family. If Josie was dismissive of her sister’s plight, then there would have been no point having her in the story at all, or at the very least, her appearances would have been fleeting and largely done nothing to build on her character.
Instead, I wanted to show the old adage of blood being thicker than water, and that Josie, despite the pain her sister had put her and her family through, she is willing to forgive, and even provide support for Ryan and Mark as a helpful aunt, putting aside her own priorities to assist in carrying the burden of both childbirth but also raising her sons, essentially becoming the boy’s second parent in the absence of Simon.
Overall, Josie is a character I had poured lots of development into in order to show a character that is willing to show unflinching loyalty regardless of the dire situation. She may have a very understated personality, but her presence within the story itself is pivotal in that she provides yet another line of hope to Ryan and Mark as they struggle through the darkness of their upbringing.