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Camille’s mother, Adora Crellin, is the matriarch of the wealthiest family in Wind Gap. Adora’s carefully constructed persona as a Southern belle hides the darker truths about her past and present. Raised by an abusive mother, Adora got pregnant with Camille when she was just a teenager and, despite the social stigmas at the time, kept the child and married Alan Crellin. Adora’s role as the owner of the town’s major source of profit—a gargantuan hog farm—gives her a kind of immunity to scandal. At the start of the novel, Adora is a nervous, traumatized woman desperate for control—her habit of plucking out her own eyelashes reveals a masochistic and self-destructive nature. She is shocked and not particularly overjoyed by Camille’s reappearance in Wind Gap, and dismisses Camille’s reportage on the murders of Ann and Natalie as lurid and cannibalistic. Adora and Camille have a contentious and hateful relationship, fueled by the pain and trauma both feel in the wake of the death of Marian—Adora’s second daughter who died when Camille was still a child. As the hatred between Adora and Camille reaches a fever pitch—with Adora threatening to physically harm Camille while simultaneously longing to tend to her wounds and ply her with medications—Camille realizes that her mother was making Marian sick all along, and is doing the same to her half-sister Amma. Believing Adora to have been responsible for Ann and Natalie’s deaths, too, as she was tutoring both of the girls privately, Camille feels vindicated when Adora is arrested for all three murders—only to be filled with horror when she later realizes that Amma, not Adora, was behind Ann and Natalie’s deaths.