Principle characters in Of Wings and Sapwood all have names that mean something about God. Let me see if I can get that stuff here.
Dan Michael: God is my judge + Who is as God?
Samuel Bron: Because I asked God for him + Sorrow
Yonatan Ruel Malachi: God has given + Friend of God+ Messenger of God
Rue Malachi: regret + Messenger of God
Jane = God is gracious
I especially love Samuel’s name, because I asked God for him. The first visual in the story is Sam standing on the deck with his coffee, looking out toward the horizon and the imminent rise of the sun; later on the reader learns that he has just uttered a prayer and become aware of Jane’s presence. The nature of that prayer is never revealed, but most likely he was asking God to give him back Rue, and he asked for an angel. His prayer was granted; God made him the angel, Jane’s angel. And while I’m talking about Samuel, remember he was wearing an unbuttoned, untucked white Oxford with taild flapping like a flag. What color flag? And what does it mean? Sam has just surrendered. But you don’t have to draw that into the conscious mind to know it.
Daniel is God is my judge, indicating that “only God can judge me.” He cares nothing about the censure of the world. As for his last name: he represents Michael the Archangel, who cast Lucifer out with a sword. I asked Dan Konviser if he was curious about that sword– did he think it was symbolic, or that Dan had found a Medievel Weaponry Store in Duck? His reply was that he had wondered about that. I said that no explanation would be given; the reader can believe either thing.
Rue: to repent, to bitterly regret. He has never stopped regretting the day he let Samuel go. Bron: Gaelic for sorrow. Sorrow and regret. Malachi: messenger of God. He tells Jane what it is God wants her to know, and this time she hears it, and starts “shaking apart.”
Later we learn that she lives between cottages called Lo Tide and Watts Inn a Name. Come on now. Would I put that stuff in there for nothing?