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Under her artist name "Annette Lyn Robinson," Henry's mother has made a name for herself as a famous opera singer. Richard, Henry's father, tells Clare about Annette one night:
"Annette had the most marvelous voice… she could express her soul with that voice… whenever I listened to her I felt like my life meant more than mere biology… she was a very emotional person… She brought that out in other people." (1.11.102)
With her death in a car accident, she seems to take her gift of emotion with her, leaving her son and husband empty and broken, and completely unable to connect with each other.