Andrew is Trevor’s younger brother and the oldest son born to Patricia and Abel, a position which makes him uniquely situated to navigate the abuse that pervades their household. He has vastly different experiences than Trevor, both in terms of how he grows up and the relationship he has with his parents, and the perspective he gains from these experiences gives him the strength to face his father’s violence. Before he is old enough to put himself in between his parents in heated moments, however, Andrew brings significant change to Trevor’s life simply by being born. Abel uses the birth of his first son as justification to challenge Patricia and Trevor’s progressive way of life, essentially erasing their old world and imposing his Tsonga culture onto them instead. This shift isolates Trevor and puts Andrew in a position of power at a very young age. As the newest member of the family, Andrew becomes the center of attention and receives a respect from Abel that no one else can fathom. 

This unique sense of respect that exists between Andrew and his father is what ultimately empowers him to stand up to his violent outbursts. Unlike Trevor who fears and runs from Abel, Andrew loves his father and often uses that love as a means of reasoning with him. Andrew’s identity as the peacekeeper within the family, however, crumbles as Abel pulls a gun on Patricia, their two children, her new husband, and his extended family. While he initially steps in front of the gun himself and begs for him to stop, Andrew finally acknowledges the impossibility of reasoning with his father and backs away. He does not lose his courage, but as a result of changes in Abel’s life, he loses his influence over him. The significant emotional impact of that loss becomes apparent during Trevor’s conversation with Andrew at the hospital in the wake of the shooting. Although the reader does not have direct access to Andrew’s point of view, the sudden and helpless way in which he breaks down crying reveals the strain that attempting to keep the peace has had on him over time. With this pressure gone, Andrew must come to terms with the changed dynamics of their family and redefine his relationship with Abel.