The City of Ember
How we cite our quotes:
Lina loved her little sister so much that it was like an ache under her ribs. The baby and Granny were all the family she had now […] Lina missed her parents with an ache that was as strong as what she felt for Poppy, only it was a hollow feeling instead of a full one. (2.24)
Poor Lina, orphaned when her father died of a sickness that was going around and her mother died giving birth to Poppy—both within a few months of each other. The sad thing is, we get the sense that this sort of thing is pretty typical for families in Ember. Death is a frequent visitor in the city, meaning that many families get split up that way. At least Lina has her sister and her grandmother to love, right?
All Doon's life, his father had been saying to him, "You're a good boy and a smart boy. You'll do grand things someday, I know you will." (3.39)
It's nice that Doon's father is so encouraging, don't you agree? But it also makes Doon feel like he has to pull off something grand to impress his dad. We're not sure how much of that is actual parental pressure and how much is Doon's inflated ego wanting to get recognized and rewarded for his achievements. Still, it's worth noting that a lot of people's ambitions are formed while they're growing up with their family, and Doon is no exception.
For Granny to forget the baby was dangerous. Poppy could fall down and hurt herself. Granny had been forgetful lately, but this was the first time she'd completely forgotten about Poppy. (4.15)
On the one hand, it's great when you've got multiple generations living under the same roof: built-in childcare, and all that jazz. But on the other hand, you get situations like this, where the supposedly responsible family members start getting too old to take care of others (or even themselves, in some cases). Lina can't be at home to supervise both Granny and Poppy since she needs to work, so she's in a bit of a pickle until she thinks to ask Mrs. Murdo to look in on them.