48 pages 1 hour read

Rebecca Stead

The List of Things That Will Not Change

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2020

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Character Analysis


Content Warning: This guide and its source material addresses LGTBQ+ and anti-gay discrimination and bias.

Bea is the protagonist of the story as well as its narrator. She tells the story of her parents’ divorce and her dad’s remarriage, which began when she was eight. Bea is a flawed character and for a long time carries guilt and shame for her past actions. She admits to being a poor speller (although she has an “excellent memory for things that are not spelling” [35]) and to finding the process of storytelling confusing and challenging. She also reveals that she sometimes treats her eczema in ways that make it worse, like by putting her hands under hot water. Bea faces emotional and behavioral challenges following her parents’ divorce, and her therapist Miriam helps her understand and forgive herself so she can cope in healthier ways.

Bea’s life is split into two worlds when her parents divorce, which she compares to the two moons she saw outside her window as a little girl. After seeing her dad almost choke to death, and then watching him move out and seeing her mother lonely, Bea started worrying more and more about herself and her loved ones.