Although we don't know it until the last few chapters of the book, Lena's mother, Sarafine, has been with us the whole time. Spoiler alert: she's been hiding inside the body of Link's mother. We imagine it's kind of like Vincent D'Onofrio in Men in Black but with better motor skills. Maybe Sarafine's had some practice?
Southern Belle from Hell
With the whole woman-within-a-woman thing going on, it's hard to know which actions are care of Mrs. Lincoln and which are care of Sarafine in her Mrs. Lincoln suit. From what we hear about Mrs. Lincoln, we think she might have behaved similarly whether she was possessed by Sarafine or not. (Well, short of the whole trying-to-kill-Lena thing.)
This lady is very big on appearances and surface-level impressions. She doesn't even like her son's pretty tame nickname. This is a woman who is always dressed to the nines—even if it's the 1959s she's going by.
Mrs. Lincoln raises some suspicions as her behavior gets more and more radical. The Halloween brownie incident is more than a little weird. She also has a surprising amount of insight into Lena's personal life and family history, which she reveals at the town meeting. What could possess a grown woman to want to destroy a young girl's life?
Inside Every Fat Woman, There's an Evil Caster Just Screaming to Get Out and Take Over the World
Well, as we learn, it really isn't Mrs. Lincoln doing all these dirty deeds. Her extreme behavior makes sense once we see Sarafine burst right out of her. No wonder Mrs. Lincoln was trying so hard to keep Lena and Ethan apart.
Sarafine is so cold-blooded, it's easy to forget that she's Lena's mother. She gave birth to her, for crying out loud. Then she went on to kill her husband, Lena's father, and stalk Lena to the ends of the earth. So we ask again: what could possess a grown woman to want to destroy a young girl's life? Mrs. Lincoln has an excuse: literal possession. What's Sarafine's justification?
Well, this demon-lady has a prophecy to deal with: "The First will be Black/ But the Second may choose to turn back" (2.11.101-02). We guess once you go Black, you can go back. Who knew? Anyway, if Lena, the Second in the prophecy, chooses to go Light, Sarafine will die—and this doesn't sit well with Sarafine. She'll do anything to save her own skin, even adopt the skin of someone else.
So can we trust anything Sarafine says? Her trump card is dubious at best. She says that Mortals and Casters cannot be together. You know, in that way. That we believe—Ethan's experienced evidence enough of that. But Sarafine says she knows a loophole, a way for Lena and Ethan to be together. (Wow, she's not your typical mom, is she? She's trying to help her daughter hook up, not stop it.)
The catch: if Lena goes Dark, Sarafine will tell her this secret. And oh, and all of Lena's Light relatives will die. Since Lena manages to avoid the whole Claiming process, Sarafine lives to fight another day. This isn't a good thing for Lena and company, but honestly, we can't wait to see what she cooks up next.