DELLA ROYCE - 25-35 years-old. Living in Atlanta, Georgia. Originally from Hendersonville, North Carolina. She is more sophisticated than the other women. Earthy like her mother, Jewel, she is also self-assured, skeptical and attractive.
SIDDY LONG - 65-85 years old. From Harlan County, Kentucky. She is combative, witty resilient and creative; a "song" writer steeped in the union movement of the southeast Kentucky miners.
SHARLEEN WHITENOUR - 25-35 years-old. From Knucklesville, Georgia. Attractive, outgoing and with a deep need to belong. She is a co-worker with Denise and Ada in the "sewing" factory.
JEWEL ROYCE BALLARD - 45-55 years-old. From Hendersonville, North Carolina. Former mill worker, raised in the mill village. She is gregarious, a "scrapper" with a good sense of humor and self. She is extroverted and candid.
BETTY JO COLLINS - 35-45 years old. Living in "over the Rhine" but expatriated from Kentucky, she is slightly naive, sometimes shy; like th eother women, she is a survivor.
ADA OWINGS - 40-50 years old. From Copperhill, Tennessee, Ada is Denise's peer in the factory and her childhood friend. Ada is a large, comfortable, "Juno-esque" woman: dogged, deeply religous and not very bright.
DENISE WHITTAKER BRADSHAW - 40-50 years old. Born and raised in Macaysville, Georgia. She is a former factory worker and is now the leader in her own "sewing" factory. She is quiet, plain spoken and keeps a low profile.