Jenny Thornton’s second best friend in The Forbidden Game trilogy, Audrey Myers’ father is a retired diplomat. Growing up Audrey lived in many different countries, from Germany to China. She appears at first to be very sophisticated and not prone to intense emotion. She enjoys tossing out foreign phrases and only wears black and white. She’s actually quite calm when they are first pulled into the game. Her first question to Jenny is “Is he Nordic, that guy? They’re supposed to be sexy as all get-out.” As the books go on though, we learn that there are hidden depths to Audrey.
Our first glimpse under Audrey’s cool exterior comes when she’s forced to face her nightmare, the Erlking, whom she apparently heard terrible stories about as a child when her father was stationed in Germany. Audrey actually seems ready to break down. Jenny manages to appeal to her pride and get her back on track, but it’s the first hint that there’s more to Audrey than we thought. Later Jenny says to Audrey “It must have been hard, living in all those different countries” and Audrey tells her that it was awful. She says “You can’t imagine the culture shock. The dislocation—the insecurity—and you never know when you’re going to move again.” Because of this Audrey has never had a chance to make real friends. She covers up her insecurities and loneliness with a mask of self confidence and sophistication.
Audrey was jealous of Dee, Jenny’s other best friend, when the trilogy began, understandably since Audrey must have felt intimidated and scared that since Dee and Jenny had been friends for such a long time that Jenny wouldn’t have much need for Audrey as a friend. Audrey and Dee learn to respect one another through the events of the trilogy and in the end seem to be friends in their own right.
Audrey is good in a crisis. She’s surprisingly helpful when the others begin to get scared, especially Michael. She claims that she doesn’t care about Michael, that he’s a “bookmark.” The reason for this is probably that Michael’s personality and image is so different from hers and she’s afraid of how it would seem. Besides, not ever having any real friends, to actually have a serious relationship, well, it would be a difficult thing for Audrey to deal with. She’s not used to showing that much feeling. Actually, as Julian tells her in the Tunnel of Love and Despair “You’re afraid that you’re not capable of having real feelings like other people.” This is probably Audrey’s biggest lesson in The Forbidden Game, that not only is she capable of having these feelings, but that it’s all right for her to express them. Michael and her work through their fears together, helping one another. Although this relationship is not the focus of the book I found it extremely moving. Michael is just what Audrey needs. In the end they are seen holding hands, and Audrey “hadn’t even bothered to put her hair up.”
The Forbidden Game trilogy by L.J. Smith
Reflections on LJ Smith