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Rayona is a 15 year old girl with a keen sense of humor, excellent perception and an independent spirit combined with a personal courage that enables her to do whatever is necessary for her survival. She has common sense when it is in her best interest to use it, but is also not afraid to take risks. Furthermore, she is not one to mope in the middle of a bad situation if she can find away to change it.
Rayona loves her mother, but sometimes seems to be more of the mother herself in their relationship. As a sensitive girl, she is capable of recognizing and satisfying her motherís emotional needs to a certain extent. For example, she catches her mother cheating at cards, but lets it go. She stands in the way of her motherís attempt to commit suicide, but is able to choke with her about the broken down car and their next destination when the crucial moment has passed.
Rayona is also able to take care of herself and is quick to discern adult falsehood and pretentiousness and is not above a bit of deceit for her own self defense. She deliberately distracts Father Tom with unexpected answers to his questions; she cleverly waits until he is out of sight and then passes up the train back to Seattle, and she can dream up instant reasons to explain her appearance at the campsite.
Yet, Rayona never intends to hurt anyone. She leaves Aunt Ida because she believes her aunt doesnít want her and she feels guilt over deceiving Sky and Evelyn about her identity. She has the best qualities of both her mother and her Aunt.