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Octavia Tay is the aunt of Cécile Rey; Cécile refers to her as "Tante Octavia" or "Tante Tay".

Facts and Personality

Octavia Tay is Aurélia Rey's younger sister. She shares the same narrow nose shape, dark almond eyes, and thick black hair of her sister, but has darker skin than her sister, more similar in color to Cécile's and described as golden brown.

Octavia grew up in New Orleans; she and Aurélia were orphaned in their youth and taken in by Sister Beatrice. She later married and she and her husband, Henry Tay, lived in Philadelphia with their son, René. In the summer of 1852 (around June or July) Henry died in an accident at the shipyard he worked at, widowing her. Soon after, she and René moved back to New Orleans and in with her sister and her family. Her personality is more gentle than Aurélia's firmness and Cécile feels lucky to have an understanding aunt to talk to. She is often sad that her husband is gone, given how short a time it has been since his death.

Octavia is an accomplished knitter and makes shawls for the old people at La Maison.

In the Books

Meet Cécile

Troubles for Cécile

Cécile's Gift

The Cameo Necklace

Octavia is not actually present as she has gone to visit her in-laws in Philadelphia.

  1. Tante is French for "aunt."
  2. Technically, the father in law of a sister is not a father in law to the person being referenced; this is the same with her son René, who would be a relative but not a grand-nephew to Simon.
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