Mary-Lynnette. Teenage astronomy enthusiast and protective older sister. Mary-Lynnette appears to us in Daughters of Darkness. Our very first introduction shows her setting up her telescope to study the stars, and making plans to possibly fix her brother up with one of her neighbors nieces. When she sees something suspicious one night, Mary-Lynnette decides to take matters into her own hands and solve a mystery. Soon she finds herself soulmates with a vampire and being attacked by a werewolf. Quite an adventure for a high school student.
Mary-Lynnette’s biggest hobby is studying the stars. She’s got big plans to discover supernovas or black holes someday. Her room is decorated to look like the night, because Mary-Lynnette “always felt safe in the night.” Later Mary-Lynnette seems to waver in this comfort. She seems to be noticing things about the night, not so pleasant things. She states at one point that “now she felt almost as if something was trying to tell her that the dark wasn’t any human’s natural habitat. That she wasn’t built for it, with her weak eyes and her insensitive ears and dull nose. That she didn’t belong.” By the end of the book she’s come to terms with it though, probably because she's faced so much (think crazy werewolf) and is more confident now that she can handle whatever the night throws at her, and the last line of the book is “And she would always love the night.”
Mary-Lynnette takes her job as Marks older sister very seriously. She’s protective. When she and Rowan and looking at each other in the clearing Mary-Lynnette talks about how they understand one another, because they are both big sisters. Though it’s been years since he was a baby with asthma so bad he “spent most of his second year in an oxygen tent”, you get the feeling that Mary-Lynnette still views him as somewhat fragile.
Mary-Lynnette is the type of person to take things into her own hands. She’s not the kind of person who would take orders well. She’s the one who wants to give them. Look at how she recruited Mark to help her try and solve the mystery of the missing Mrs. Burdock, the way she organized the whole group to find the murderer. Along with this comes the fact that she’s not the lay down and take stuff type. While everyone else is scared of Ash, she goes ahead and kicks him in the shins (twice!)
Mary-Lynnette is cool in a crisis. Just think how hard it must have been to come up with ways to keep Jeremy occupied and away from Ash.
Mary-Lynnette fears things that she doesn’t understand or have control over, a side effect obviously of being the type of person who likes to take control. This is why she doesn’t like the soulmate relationship with Ash. Her thoughts show this. When she realizes they’re soulmates for the first time she’s thinking “Oh, God, I really don’t want this. Please, please, I didn’t ask for this.” She doesn’t understand it. She can’t control it. It’s probably the scariest thing to ever happen to her, in which case she actually dealt with it quite well. She’s afraid as well of how it will turn out. When Ash says he’ll make up for the things he’s done Mary-Lynnette “didn’t dare really hope that he would.” She seems to be working on this too. She thinks a little later “And Ash would come back next year.” So she’s trying to have faith in him. What Mary-Lynnette must learn during the events of Daughters of Darkness is how to face her fear of things she doesn’t control or understand. It's a tough lesson, but an important one.
Daughters of Darkness by L.J. Smith
Reflections on LJ Smith