Jenny Mack

Second choice

Jenny and Gideon meet at university in 1978. They are married for 14 years until her sudden and tragic death in a car accident. Gideon’s love for Elsie Moffat meant that Jenny was his second choice from the beginning of their relationship and not what I really wanted. Gideon admits that he was cautious about Jenny as he:

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didn’t want to commit myself- I wanted the possibility of something else

When they enter into a romantic relationship, Gideon remembers feeling a thrill, excitement and disappointment mixed in equal quantities. However, Gideon is able to keep his desire for Elsie a secret from Jenny and convince her that she is the one that he always wanted.

Jenny and Gideon are alike in that they are both willing to settle for something rather than follow their dreams. Jenny plays a part in persuading Gideon to become a minister as it is a job for life. She seems to acknowledge that it won't be the best option:

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You could make it interesting. We could make it interesting.

Marriage

Despite marrying Jenny, Gideon admits that he did not love Jenny as I should have. He was incapable of doing so even though he wanted to. For the first few years of their marriage, they were happy and content, but their relationship starts to deteriorate over time and they begin to lead empty and separate lives and drift further and further apart.

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We're living a lie, and it's killing us

Eventually Jenny confronts Gideon about their failing marriage. Jenny doubts if they have ever really and truly loved each other. She believes that they are going through the motions in their marriage and she wonders whether they ever loved each other.

She seeks reassurance that he is not having an affair, that he loves her and that they have a future together. In the following months they set about rebuilding their marriage and plan on having a baby together, but this is curtailed by her sudden death in 1992.

Jenny’s death

In the years following her death, Gideon thinks about her regularly and he misses her. He reveals that the memories of her presence lingered in the house they shared. He imagines seeing her around the house and having conversations with her.