Miss Love is a spirited young woman capable of speaking her mind, which makes her the perfect companion for the outspoken Rucker. The passages in which she appears bustle with fresh air, sunshine, color, and sexuality, reflecting her vigor. Miss Love also has a vulnerable side, and although she meets Cold Sassy’s disapproval with cheery strength, she spends much of her early married life shedding private tears. Miss Love agrees with Rucker’s policy of greeting all hardship with boisterous tolerance, but their attitude of cheerful resignation has its flaws. It isn’t until Miss Love begins to express her dismay at Cold Sassy’s unfriendliness that she becomes happy.
As Rucker and Miss Love’s relationship develops and they begin to fall in love with each other, Miss Love reveals the abuse that darkens her past and makes her feel polluted and unworthy of love. Although it pains her to reveal her history, by doing so she deepens her connection to Rucker, ceases to worry that she is hiding a scandalous secret, and eventually becomes truly happy. Her bravery demonstrates that honesty can improve even the worst circumstances. Burns portrays the trauma of Miss Love’s childhood as she portrays death—dark, but not hopeless. Miss Love helps Rucker by showing him her ability to convert pain into happiness.