Characterisation of Michelle Cleveland from A Ghost and His Gold and a review

Today, I am visiting Brooke Blogs with a post about the characterisation of Michelle Cleveland from my book A Ghost and His Gold and a review. Thank you Brooke.

Michelle Cleveland characterisation

Michelle is the young wife of Tom Cleveland, an equity partner at the prestigious auditing and advisory firm, Kellerman, James & Thompson. Michelle is also a chartered accountant but has elected to run her own small company offering bookkeeping and tax services to selected clients. This choice allows Michelle to work flexible hours and spend some of her time developing her writing skills. Michelle hopes to become a published author.

The reader first meets Michelle as the competent hostess of a housewarming party thrown by the couple to celebrate moving into their smart, modern townhouse in Irene, near Pretoria, the previous capital city of the Republic of South Africa (Transvaal). It is quickly apparent that Michelle is efficient and well organised as well as intelligent, but that she has a dreamy and artistic side to her personality. Antique furniture, family heirlooms, and homemade silk curtains are Michelle’s choice in home furnishings and her best friend, Alice, is single and a bit wild.
Open minded about the occult and practices like playing with a Ouija board, reading Tarot cards, and performing cleansing rituals to ward off evil spirits, Michelle quickly realises there is something not quite right about her new home. Pieter choses to reveal himself to Michelle in an attempt to gain her assistance and support to his plans for redemption.

Despite her education and abilities, Michelle is in awe of her successful older husband and does not want him to think her silly or foolish. As a result, Michelle does not tell Tom about her strange experiences in the house and accepts his explanation for the bottles and cans in the cooler box exploding without interrogation or even questions. Michelle lacks confidence when dealing with men. This characteristic also presents itself when she interacts with the doctor who treats Tom’s mental health problems.

Michelle tries to be understanding and kind to her husband and refuses to believe anything bad about him until the truth is impossible to deny. When Tom starts to disintegrate emotionally and physically, she worries about him and tries to look after and protect him as best she can. She is distressed when she believes he has turned away from her.

Michelle is portrayed as being both nurturing towards her husband and needy through her reliance on advice and guidance from Alice as well as Pastor John. Despite her own unease and trepidation about certain advice given, she does not take a stand against Pastor John or even express her own opinion.

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5 thoughts on “Characterisation of Michelle Cleveland from A Ghost and His Gold and a review

    1. Thank you, Brad. I’m glad you enjoy these posts. History and ghosts are not for everyone.

  1. Quite an interesting characterisation, Robbie. At first I thought Michelle had some similarity to you, but as the details were expanded, I see there are many dissimilarities too.

    1. Hi Norah, Michelle is a little like me with her choice of career and hobbies, but she is not like me with regards to her lack of ambition in the work place, disinterest in having a family, or the fact she puts Tom on a pedestal and doesn’t want him to think badly of her. Despite being small, blonde, and a wearer of pink and flowers I am very ambitious in many ways and am very confrontational and direct when I don’t agree with other people, male or female, and that includes my husband.

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