Grew up… in Pittsburgh, Pa. Her biological mother died only recently, and her father has already moved on.
Living… at home for the duration of summer vacation in 1987. Em, a student at NYU, is living back in Pittsburgh with her father and new stepmother Francy, whom she despises. Em views her father and his new wife with contempt, as she believes that they are disrespecting the memory of her mother. In Em’s words, “When my mom first started getting, like, really sick, my dad starts going to temple. He’s never been serious about his faith. But he decided to buddy up to God like he thought it was going to help save my mom. And that’s where he met Francy.”
Profession… carnival worker at Adventureland, Pittsburgh’s dreary pop-up theme park.
Relationship Status… involved in an affair with Adventureland’s maintenance man, Mike Connell. Em’s involvement with the older (and married) part-time musician isn’t really satisfying her. It’s also making her feel extremely guilty. Meanwhile she’s drawing sincere interest from her co-worker James, a recent college grad who knows more about dissertations than dating.
Challenge… leaving her toxic relationship with Connell. Em wants to avoid her home and her stepmother at all costs, so has been spending time with Connell in his mom's basement. I’s hard to picture this relationship ending well for anyone.
Personality… wry, sullen and world-weary. The cynical Em, who rarely cracks a smile, is beginning to show her lighter side after she meets her innocent co-worker, James. Maybe James can help break her out of rut, if only he can learn to get out of his own way romantically.
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