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Anita's family is mentioned often, but we've never met any of them.

Mother[]

Proud to call herself Mexican despite being born in the U.S., short, dark, and curvy, daughter of Grandma Flores, died in a car crash when Anita was eight. Anita's father's first love, maybe even his first lover, but in either case a lot of firsts. Religious views and potential powers haven't been mentioned, nor has her name, although her maiden name was presumably Flores.

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Father[]

Has German roots—tall, blond, and blue-eyed, just like his family—but was born in the U.S., son of Grandma Blake. Devout Catholic, and no doubt raised with strict Christian values, strong sense of propriety, and noticeable amounts of white supremacy in the mix. Despite all that fell madly in love with Anita's Mexican mother, a daughter of a vaudun priestess. He raised Anita as a Catholic but didn't put her into a Catholic school, and was happy to take her hunting and camping rather than dance lessons. Fell completely apart when his beloved wife died, sought support from his family, unable to put Anita's needs first.

Remarried only two years after his first wife died, this time to a woman who fit his family. It's possible that this was at least partially because he recognized that he wasn't providing Anita everything she needs, but if so, he chose badly. Tried to get Anita help when her zombie raising powers manifested, first from a therapist and then from Grandma Flores, but he doesn't understand Anita's powers and presumably followed Grandma Flores' recommendation to cut ties to her side of the family, isolating Anita from anybody with ties to the supernatural. And the older she got the more she looked like her dead mother, making it ever more painful for her father to connect with her. Talking about his wife's death still makes him cry, so they rarely discuss the subject. There are no pictures of Anita's mother on display within the house.

We don't know his name, beyond his surname presumably being Blake. He is a veterinarian.[1]

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Father's second family[]

Stepmother Judith[]

Tall and blond ice princess who thinks girls should be proper and do girly things. Doesn't understand or get along with Anita and looks down on her Mexican heritage. Widowed from her first husband, tries to hide her racist comments from her second husband. Doesn't keep out pictures of her first husband, and doesn't like her second husband to keep out pictures of his first wife either.

Stepsister Andria[]

Tall and blond daughter from Judith's first marriage, same age as Anita but little else in common with her. Perfect daughter to Judith and impossible to compete with. Embarrassed by her mother's racist comments and has been correcting them since teenage years. Lawyer and engaged to another lawyer, unclear if has got married later.

Half brother Josh[]

Tall and blond son of Judith and Anita's father, and the member of the family Anita gets best along with, although getting mostly estranged from the family means less contact with Josh as well.

Grandparents[]

Grandmother Flores[]

Maternal grandmother, who didn't appear to be much in Anita's life even before her mother died. This changed for a short while when Anita's father took her to learn to control her zombie raising powers from Grandma Flores, who is a vaudun priestess. She taught Anita control but nothing else, fearing she would grow up to be an evil necromancer, and told her father to cut ties in order to remove the temptations of vaudun.

Grandmother Blake[]

Paternal grandmother, tall, blond, fanatically religious, and strict advocator of proper behavior and the evils of sex and the supernatural. Important but ultimately negative influence in Anita's life, teaching her to look down on herself. Prays for Anita's soul, first because she insists on raising the dead instead of praying the evil powers away, and then because she starts dating Jean-Claude. Has told Anita that she'll be damned for all eternity if she marries him. Is as of yet still unaware of Anita's other men, but definitely wouldn't approve of them either.

Grandfathers[]

Either grandfather hasn't been mentioned yet, but presumably they must have existed.

Other relatives[]

Aunt Mattie[]

We know very little concrete about Aunt Mattie. She either has a good posture or values a good posture[2], and she attended Anita's mother's funeral, grabbing Anita back after she managed to steal a glimpse into the closed coffin.[3]

Speculation: the posture and the fact that Anita hardly mentions her mother's family beyond them being Mexican indicates that Aunt Mattie is likely from Anita's father's side. Aunt Mattie has never been called great-aunt or given any other qualifiers, which might mean that she is Anita's father's sister, and consequently daughter of Grandma Blake.

See also: Unnamed Aunt

Aunt Katerine[]

Anita's father's favorite aunt, who died when Anita was a small child. Aunt Katerine's soul hovered above her coffin at her funeral, even if it was more than three days since she died. Anita's middle name is Katerine, after her great-aunt.[4] Anita's middle name is mentioned once later in the series, but Aunt Katerine herself isn't.[5]

Aunt Katerine was presumably either Grandma Blake's sister or sister-in-law, or married to her brother or brother-in-law.

Uncle Otto[]

Anita's great-uncle from German lowlands, specifically Hamburg. Presumably married to Aunt Gertrude, who (according to Grandma Blake) nagged him to death. He never lost his accent, even if most of the family did by the time Anita came along, and she was old enough when he died that she remembers his accent well enough to compare it to Olaf's accent.[6]

Presumably either Uncle Otto is Grandma Blake's brother or brother-in-law, or Aunt Gertrude is Grandma Blake's sister or sister-in-law.

Note: the one and only exchange about Uncle Otto within the series actually talks about Hapsburg, Germany for the most part. However, there is no such place. There is a Swiss municipality called Habsburg, which housed the family seat of the Austrian royal house commonly spelled House of Hapsburg in the U.S., and which is these days located in northern Switzerland, relatively close to German border. It was never part of Germany, even if most of the population does speak German, and it's nowhere near German lowlands, as those are located in northern Germany, where Hamburg is. So even if Hapsburg is mentioned several times and Hamburg only once, it seems likely that Hamburg is the intended spelling for this exchange.

Aunt Gertrude[]

All we know for certain about Aunt Gertrude is that she nagged Uncle Otto to death according to Grandma Blake.[6] As that kind of thing is usually attributed to wives, presumably Aunt Gertrude is Anita's great-aunt and was married to Uncle Otto before his death. That would make Aunt Gertrude either Grandma Blake's sister or sister-in-law, or Uncle Otto himself might be Grandma Blake's brother or brother-in-law.

Unnamed Aunt[]

Anita's aunt had her last baby at fifty because her doctor told her she was past needing to take precautions. He was wrong.[7]

It's possible that this aunt is actually Aunt Mattie.

References[]

  1. Dead Ice, chapter 04: "My dad is a veterinarian. He used to take me on his rounds sometimes; trust me, some pigs will eat you."
  2. The Lunatic Cafe, chapter 11: Marcus sat in the same manner he did everything—rigid. Posture that would have made my Aunt Mattie proud.
  3. Bloody Bones, chapter 27:
    I remembered my mother's face the last time I'd seen her. The coffin had been dark wood covered in a blanket of pink roses. I knew Mommy was in there, but they wouldn't let me see. No one could see. Closed coffin, they said, closed coffin. Every adult in my life was having hysterics. The room was full of screams, sobbing. My father collapsed to the floor. He was useless to me. I wanted my mother. The latches on the coffin were silver. I opened them, and I heard a cry behind me. I didn't have much time. The lid was heavy, but I shoved it upward and it moved. I got a glimpse of white satin, and shadows. I raised my arms over my head with every ounce of strength and got a glimpse of something.
    My Aunt Mattie grabbed me back. The lid clanged shut, and she snapped the lock back in place, dragging me away. I didn't struggle; I'd seen enough. It was like looking at one of those pictures that you know must look like something, but your eyes can't make sense of it. It took me years to make sense of it. But what I saw wasn't my mother. Couldn't be my beautiful mother. It had been a husk, something left behind. Something to hide in a dark box and let rot.
  4. Bloody Bones, chapter 17:
    I have always had an affinity with the dead. Even as a small child, I always knew if the soul had fled the body. I remember my great-aunt Katerine's funeral. I'm named after her, my middle name. She was my father's favorite aunt. We went early to view the body and make sure everything was ready. I felt her soul hovering above the coffin. I looked up expecting to see it, but there was nothing for my eyes to hold onto. I've never seen a soul. I've felt them, but I've never seen one.
    I know now that Aunt Katerine's soul hung around a long time. Most souls leave within three days, some leave instantly, some don't. My mother's soul was gone by the time the funeral arrived. I didn't feel her there. There was nothing but a closed coffin and a blanket of pink roses over the coffin, as if the coffin would get cold.
    It was at home where I felt my mother hovering close. Not her soul, not really, but some piece of her that couldn't let go immediately. I would hear her footsteps in the hall outside my bedroom as if she was coming to kiss me good night. She moved through the house for months, and I found it comforting. When she finally left, I was ready to let her go. I never told my father. I was only eight, but even then I knew that he couldn't hear her. Maybe he heard other things. I don't know. My father and I never talked much about my mother's death. It made him cry.
    I'd been able to sense ghosts long before I could raise the dead. What I was about to do was just an extension of that, or maybe a combination of both skills. I don't know. But it was like trying to explain that there was a soul hovering over Aunt Katerine's coffin. Either you knew the soul was there or you didn't. Words didn't quite cover it.
  5. Blood Noir, chapter 54:
    "Edmond, my name is Edmond. What is your name?"
    I decided to try lying. "Katerine." It was my middle name.
    "Now who's lying?" he said, and he made it sound playful.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Obsidian Butterfly, chapter 19, Anita and Olaf:
    As he (Olaf) got more emotional, the accent got thicker. Very German, very lowland. Grandmother Blake was from Baden-Baden, on the border between Germany and France, but great-uncle Otto had been from Hapsburg. I couldn't be a hundred percent sure, but it sounded like the same accent.
    ...
    "Are you from Hapsburg?"
    He seemed to think about it for a second or two, then gave a small nod.
    "I thought I recognized the accent."
    The scowl was back full force. "You are an expert on accents?" He managed to sound sarcastic.
    "No. My Uncle Otto was from Hapsburg."
    He blinked again, and the scowl wilted around the edges. "You are not German." He sounded very sure.
    "My father's family is; from Baden-Baden on the edge of the Black Forest but Uncle Otto was from Hamburg.
    "You said only your uncle had the accent."
    "By the time I came along, most of the family, except for my grandmother, had been in this country so long there was no accent, but Uncle Otto never lost his."
    "He's dead now." Olaf made it half question, half statement.
    I nodded.
    "How did he die?"
    "Grandma Blake says Aunt Gertrude nagged him to death."
  7. Dead Ice, chapter 09: "My aunt had her last baby at fifty and it was a total surprise, no medical miracles involved." [...] "Really, her doctor told her she was past having babies so she didn't have to take precautions, and he was wrong."
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