Jemima is a dutiful wife and mother in her late forties. A woman of strong views, she is torn between her first-born son and her husband. Understanding them both, she takes the role of peacemaker. When her husband is brought home after the explosion, Jemima cannot believe he is dead – she had thought him invulnerable. She must lay out his body, and then try to mend the rift in the family. The disaster at the Lan takes away her husband and her status as an overman’s wife; the inquest takes away her family’s reputation and her livelihood. But even as she faces poverty and is isolated by her community, she is strong, determined to keep her family together at a time of crisis. Only Jemima has the courage to stand before Booker and make him face his guilt.