This article lists the various minor fictional characters who appear in Household Gods. These characters play at best a peripheral role in the novel. Most were simply mentioned or had a very brief, unimportant speaking role that impacted the plot minimally, if at all, and never appeared again. Some were not even given a name.

Note on naming orderEdit

During the Roman Empire, not every free person had a family name. Those who did sometimes had the family name at the end of their names, as in the modern Western custom. Some individuals, however, had a family name followed by a secondary family name (as in some modern Spanish-speaking cultures), or a personal title or description, so that the family name appears to us to be the middle name. Without context, it is often difficult to determine which part of a Roman citizen's name is which. As the POV character Nicole Gunther is largely ignorant of Roman history, and cannot be expected to learn the full background (including the naming order) of each person she encounters, many of the Latin character names in the following list may be alphabetized improperly.


Alexander was a personal secretary to the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.[1]

Big CharlieEdit

Big Charlie was one of several KNX traffic reporters whose radio broadcast told Nicole Gunther of the pileups and obstacles en route from Van Nuys to the law office on the day Josefina resigned.[2]

Christian graffiti artistEdit

Famous TV actorEdit

When Nicole Gunther was summoned to Sheldon Rosenthal's office, expecting a promotion to partner of the law firm, the previous visitor exited ostentatiously, with an effect of parting the gates of heaven in a 1950s movie. It was someone her mother had watched on TV, calling back over his shoulder "Thanks a million, Shelly. I'm glad it's in good hands. Say hi to Ruth for me."

The famous man was so intent on whatever was on his mind that took no notice of Nicole, as if she were invisible, but she didn't mind. She was tickled that someone existed with the guts to call Mr. Rosenthal "Shelly" to his face, something not even the other senior partners ever did.[3]


Josefina (born c. 1965) was a Mexican immigrant who lived in Van Nuys and provided daycare for the children of Los Angeles businesspeople. Nicole Gunther, following the desertion of her husband Frank Perrin, found Josefina to be a godsend. Nicole's children Kimberley and Justin adored Josefina.

One day, news came from Mexico that Josefina's mother was ill and needed her attention. Josefina had to end her daycare business and return to Ciudad Obregón. Nicole, who was at a loss to find a replacement service, was infuriated, and briefly considered reporting Josefina (whom she suspected to be in the United States illegally) to the deportation authorities out of spite. However, she immediately realized that since she wished Josefina wasn't returning to Mexico, then deporting her to Mexico would be counterproductive.


Louise was one of several KNX traffic reporters whose radio broadcast told Nicole Gunther of the pileups and obstacles en route from Van Nuys to the law office on the day Josefina resigned.[4]


  1. Household Gods, p. ***, HC.
  2. Ibid., p. 21-22, HC.
  3. Ibid., p. 26-27, HC.
  4. Ibid., p. 21-22, HC.

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