Ruth's best childhood friend, Frances, plays an important role in Ruth's life in Suffolk. Ruth has few positive memories from her childhood, but her time with Frances meant a great deal to her. Frances and her family accepted Ruth with warmth and kindness. Given the racial and societal conditions in Suffolk at that time, Ruth was tremendously grateful for their acceptance. Ruth was plagued by loneliness and exclusion for most of her childhood, and she recalls the time she spent with Frances as her sole relief from the duties of family, school, and religion.