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Characters

Meet the Cast

Mrs. Curren

Say hello to Mrs. Curren, our narrator and protagonist. Mrs. Curren is an elderly white woman living in Cape Town, South Africa in 1986. We first meet her at a point in which life hasn't been all t...

Vercueil

Mr. EnigmaWe're not trying to exaggerate here, but we have to say that Vercueil might just be one of the most interesting, confusing, and mysterious characters we've ever encountered. We could read...

Florence

Boss of her Boss?Florence is Mrs. Curren's housekeeper. She's also the mother of Bheki, Hope, and Beauty. We don't get to know her right away because she's out of town visiting her family. When she...

Bheki

All In A NameBheki, Florence's eldest son, is a complex and interesting young fellow. So much of what makes Bheki such an intriguing character comes from what we learn about what Bheki used to be l...

Mrs. Curren's Daughter

Mrs. Curren's daughter (a.k.a. "you" – bet you weren't expecting to be a character in this novel!) is one of the most interesting characters in Age of Iron. She's also the most notably absent fig...

Bheki's Friend (John, Johannes)

Bheki's friend, a.k.a. John, starts off as someone who really rubs Mrs. Curren the wrong way. He shows up out of nowhere and hangs out at Mrs. Curren's house without her saying it's OK for him to b...

Hope

Hope is Florence's eldest daughter and Bheki's little sister. Mrs. Curren is used to seeing Hope and Beauty at her house with Florence. Mrs. Curren can't help but think that Hope's name is an alleg...

Beauty

Beauty is Florence's baby daughter. For whatever reason, she's taken quite a liking to Vercueil and keeps bothering him while he works in the yard. Mrs. Curren is convinced that Beauty, like Hope,...

Mr. Thabane

Mr. Thabane is Florence's cousin. He accompanies Florence and Mrs. Curren when they go out to Gugulethu to search for Bheki. He has a calm, collected, but questioning way of speaking, which leads M...

Dr. Syfret

We never actually meet Dr. Syfret, but he plays a key role in the novel: he's Mrs. Curren's doctor, and he's the one who breaks the news to her that she's going to die. In a way, his attitude towa...

The Two Policemen in the Van

These aren't really the kind of policemen you'd want to ask for help. These two camp out outside Mrs. Curren's house snooping on Bheki and John. When Mrs. Curren asks them what they're up to, they'...

The Officers Wearing Blue

Like the policemen in the van, these officers are anything but fine, upstanding citizens. They come to Mrs. Curren's house looking for John. They barely give her time to answer the door before they...

The Female Police Officer

When the officers come to Mrs. Curren's house looking for John, the female officer gets the task of keeping Mrs. Curren calm and out of the way (too bad for her – it's not the easiest job ever)....

The Plumber

He's the guy who opens his car door into Bheki and John's bicycle. We can't really say that he causes the accident, though – everyone in the novel generally agrees that the police are to blame he...

Vercueil's Lady Friend

When Vercueil comes back to Mrs. Curren's house after Bheki kicks the daylights out of him, he has this random lady with him. She's kind of gross looking and has definitely been either hitting the...

William

William is Florence's husband. We don't actually meet him in person, though – he just shows up in one of Mrs. Curren's memories. Mrs. Curren remembers watching him covered in blood from killing c...
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