Ellie Chu

Ellie Chu

    The Half of It

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… above the Squahamish, Washington, train station. Ellie lives with her widowed father, who serves as the town’s station manager. Born in Xuzhou, China, Ellie is the only Asian student at her school. Some kids make fun of her Asian heritage, which she does her best to ignore and stay positive. As Ellie says, "The good thing about being different is that no one expects you to be like them."

Profession… student and station manager. An excellent student, Ellie also helps man the train signals twice a day. What would her father do without her?

Interests… music, books, and movies. In the little free time she has, Ellie practices guitar and plays piano for the Sunday service, despite being an atheist. 

Relationship Status… single. Ellie knows she won’t be able to find love in her small town, so she’s settled for the next best thing: helping others fall in love. Her friend Paul isn’t very articulate, so Ellie is helping him pen love letters to his crush in exchange for money that will help her father pay the bills. And it’s working: Aster has started writing back the most beautiful letters to Paul.

Challenge… keeping up the lies. What was supposed to be one letter to help pay off the power bill has now become a lengthy exchange of letters and texts, roping Ellie into a thick web of deception. But the bigger issue is that Ellie is getting to know what an amazing woman Aster is and how much they have in common. Ellie may be falling for her too.  

Personality… studious, reserved, and blunt. But when she begins to open up to Paul, it's clear that past her cynical exterior, Ellie is a thoughtful girl who has been keeping up a wall around others to protect herself. The letters she writes for Paul prove how much a romantic she really is. Ellie is deserving of love, but she’s convinced she’ll never find it. As Ellie says, "Love is messy and horrible and selfish and bold."


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