Olive's Ocean Characters

Kevin Henkes
This Study Guide consists of approximately 31 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Olive's Ocean.
This section contains 951 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)

Martha Boyle

Grant realized the importance of the common soldier and made sure that he took care of his men, as much as was possible, during his command. At one point, Grant is facing many tasks but sets up a supply line to ensure that the men have the food and ammunition they need. At another point, Grant describes the trenches built by the men. Knowing that the battle would be drawn out and that the men would be forced to remain entrenched for days, the trenches were dug deeply with the dirt thrown over timbers piled to the front. The dirt and timber fronts provided additional cover so that the men were able to stand upright in the trench without fear of being shot.

On several occasions, Grant made a point of saying that the men should be given time to rest before being forced to march again. When Grant needed Sherman's forces to move, Grant took into account the fact that the roads were nearly impassable making the trek difficult for the men. Grant said he wouldn't have ordered Sherman to make that march but that Sherman took it upon himself to move the men. Grant realized that Lee's troops were equally dependent on supplies and made every effort to cut off those supplies in order to press an advantage. Grant's interest in the well-being of the common soldier extended to those in need of attention. When many wounded lay on a battlefield besieged by the Confederate troops, Grant contacted Lee, asking that they call a truce in order to make time to remove the wounded from the field.


The name Martha Boyle uses for her grandmother. Godbee is the mother of Dennis Boyle, Martha's father. She lives near the ocean and shares a special bond with Martha that is apparently greater than the bond with her other grandchildren. Godbee is a strong character and is content living alone. She suggests to Martha that they tell each other something about themselves each day of Martha's visit. Her goal is obviously to get to know Martha better and to strengthen the bond they have. Martha loves Godbee at least partly because her grandmother understands Martha's feelings. When Martha spends some time with a boy she likes, Godbee realizes that the youngsters don't want to be cooped up with the adults all evening and tells them they can go. She's the first of the adults to issue that permission which endears her even more to Martha. Martha confides in Godbee her desire to be a writer before she tells anyone else because she knows Godbee will understand. When Godbee hears the news, she asks to read something Martha has written but understands when Martha says she wants to wait until later.

Olive Barstow

A girl in Martha's class at school, she is very shy and has few friends. Olive is killed when a car hits her while she's riding her bicycle. She leaves behind a journal and one page of that is given to Martha. That page indicates that Olive wanted to be a writer, wanted to visit the ocean, and wanted to become friends with Martha.

Vince Boyle

Martha's older brother, there is exactly one year's difference in their ages. Martha says that she and Vince were close when they were young but had grown apart over the years. Despite this, they still share a bond and Vince feels for Martha when a boy takes advantage of her. Vince is somewhat rough and tumble, as is to be expected, but his affection for his family is evident.

Dennis Boyle

Martha's father. Dennis is a writer who has yet to have anything published. He stays home with Lucy while his wife works. Dennis seems stressed and is often angry until he announces to the family that he is going to give up the idea of writing to return to work as an attorney. Dennis seems happier just by making the decision.

Alice Hubbard

Martha's wife, she is a radio personality. She is somewhat demanding of her children though she also realizes their need for independence. She seems supportive and when Dennis announces that he wants to return to work, she agrees that it's a good idea, apparently because she knows that it will make him happy.

Lucy Boyle

Martha's little sister, Lucy is only two the summer after Olive Barstow dies. Lucy is demanding and Martha sometimes grows tired of being forced to help watch after her, but Lucy is generally so loving that Martha is happy to be with her anyway.

Jimmy Manning

The oldest of the five Manning brothers, he lives near Godbee's house. Jimmy is older than Martha and she really hasn't thought about him much until they encounter each other on the beach and Jimmy invites Martha to watch his video. Jimmy is making a film and kisses Martha to create what he refers to as the "love" portion of his video. Martha later learns that he kissed her on a dare and that he showed the video to others.

Tate Manning

Jimmy's younger brother, Tate seems to like Martha. After Jimmy shows everyone the video of Jimmy and Martha kissing, Tate promises Martha that he'll take care of the problem. He shows up just as Martha and her family are leaving Godbee's to return home and gives her the video.


Martha's best friend, Holly and Martha talk about Olive's death soon after it happens. Olive repeats a rumor about Olive's death, saying she'd heard that Olive's head was knocked off in the accident. Martha says that she wishes they'd been nicer to Olive and Holly responds that they "weren't not nice" to Olive.

This section contains 951 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Olive's Ocean from BookRags. (c)2017 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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