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Annawake and Taylor make up an interesting duality in the book. Indeed, they have strikingly similar personalities. Annawake is young, like Taylor, probably in her mid to late twenties. They are both independent women, with no need for a man in their lives. Although Taylor is with Jax, she never feels dependent on him. Both have the same youthful determination and idealism. These two women are too alike to be able to get along. They are both fighters who refuse to concede.
Like Taylor, Annawake is motivated by her familial attachments. While Taylor makes all decisions based on Turtle, Annawake makes her decisions out of love for her brother Gabe. Both, in a sense, act in a way that dramatizes their attachments. Annawake does not seem to appreciate fully the bond between mother and child, but her actions reflect the bond between brother and sister. She calls Gabe "her other wing" and still feels a pain in her side where he was ripped apart from her. Although Gabe is Annawake's personal motivation, she acts out the atrocities waged against her people over hundreds of years. Indeed, Gabe is symbolic of all the Native Americans who have fallen victim to white America. Annawake is thus motivated also by a history of holocaust and atrocity. In an idealistic way, she sees cases like Turtle's as her opportunity to make up for this history.
Part of the novel's aim is to present stories of two cultures, living within the same country, that live entirely differently from one another. Annawake serves the role of representing her culture's history. She is as important to the book for her idealism and law degree as she is for her determination. Although the other Cherokee characters can dramatize what modern Native American life is like, only someone with Annawake's educational background can offer detailed insight into Native American history and legal battles. Through Annawake, the reader feels the full force of white America's attack on Native American people.
Like Taylor, Annawake also changes over the course of the novel. She tells Alice at the end of the novel that Annawake has experienced her first moral crisis. Through hounding down Turtle's case, Annawake learned that the answers are not as clear as she once thought. She appreciates more the strength of Taylor's love for Turtle, and the security that Turtle has gained in a non- Cherokee home. Even for someone living out the tragedy of her lost brother, the answers become less clear.