Main plot: Struggling author and three-time divorcee Jack Bueley is on the verge of suicide when Sophie,
a mysterious spirit, appears in his dreams and seduces him. He writes letters to Sophie every morning
and even writes her into his fiction because he is terrified of letting her slip away.
Third person narrative/Past-tense:
Letters and dream sequences are told in present tense:
Setting: - Durgan, a fictional suburban town in upstate New York
Jack Bueley - Protagonist: Jack is forty-nine years old with a medium build, dark haired, a few touches of
gray and a comely face. He wears short-rimmed glasses and is soft-spoken. Jack is a quasi-successful
author of mystery and romance novels. He is, as he would say, “a write- a-holic.” He’s had three marriages
in fifteen years, each of which have inevitably failed. He is a naïve and incurable romantic suffering the
aftermath of his mistakes.
Arc - Jack eventually realizes Sophie’s love is utterly consuming. He becomes determined to regain his
sense of self.
Joanna: - Joanna, Jack’s first wife, is forty, a brunette, brown-eyed, olive-skinned, short and attractive.
Jack is blind to the idea that Joanna doesn’t really love him. She marries him because she believes his
novels will make them both rich. When it turns out that his career can do little more than pay the bills,
Joanna decides she can no longer accept his lifestyle and kicks him into the gutter.
Marianna: - Marianna, Jack’s second wife, is forty-three, petite, fair-skinned and has intense green eyes.
Nicknamed “Scarlet” for her red-hair, she is feisty, argumentative, suffers from mood-swings, has a
drinking problem and is prone to promiscuity. She uses a catch-phrase. “Baby, I’m a wildfire.” Jack thinks
he can provide her with enough love, comfort and stability to help her overcome her issues. Jack soon
discovers he cannot handle her and the marriage dissolves.
Susanna: - Susanna, Jack’s third wife, is forty-six. She has a curvy, hourglass figure, wavy dark brown hair
stretching past her shoulders and discerning hazel brown eyes. Marrying Susanna is the closest Jack has
ever come to experiencing true love and happiness. They even have a child together, a baby boy,
Matthew Adams Bueley. The marriage, however wonderful it might have been when it began, ends when
Susanna accuses him frequently of focusing on his career at the expense of his family. They have a
dispute over money as well as a custody battle, which ends with Susana raising Matthew on her own.
Sophie: - Antagonist: Sophie is a ghost, a manifestation of desire. He is blinded by her beauty, by the
passion that burns between them. Jack does not see that she possesses characteristics of all three of his
former wives, that she wields them like weapons and takes advantage of his vulnerability. Later, when
Jack’s judgment resurfaces, he understands Sophie is corrupting and controlling him in ways he never
thought possible. She seizes his mind and heart. He is hers.
Arc: - Sophie experiences a conflict of conscience. She realizes she really does love Jack and if she
doesn’t reverse her hold over him, he will spend the rest of his life a broken man and her soul will never
Conclusion: - Sophie attempts to undo the damage she has done. The story ends with Sophie and Jack
finding redemption. They each learn valuable lessons about love, forgiveness, mortality and immortality.
Most of all, they learn to let go. Jack attempts to pick up the pieces of his life and slowly moves on.
Sophie never truly leaves him. She lingers, however faintly, within his heart and in his subconscious,
forever haunting him.