The mother of Katie, Evy, Eliza, and Sissy, the wife of Thomas Rommely, and the maternal grandmother of Francie and Neeley. She is an immigrant from Austria who arrived with Thomas. Her family describes her as “a saint.” She never got an education and cannot read or write her own name. She saves enough money to buy a house in the United States, but she is swindled out of it and receives no property, due to being unable to read contracts. Despite her lack of education, she has memorized “over a thousand stories and legends” and speaks in “a low, soft” and “warmly, melodious voice” that soothes her listeners. Her daughters and granddaughters inherit her voice. An “intensely” devout Catholic, Mary knows the story of every saint and also believes in the supernatural, including ghosts and fairies. In Austria, she was admired by her community for her wisdom and people frequently sought her advice. Mary insists that her daughters speak only English at home and at school, as a way to protect them from their father’s cruelty. When her daughters marry, Mary is sad to see them with “no-account men” and she weeps when they give birth to girls, knowing that a woman’s life is always harder. When Francie says her “Hail Mary” prayer, she always sees her grandmother’s face in her mind’s eye. Mary Rommely dies at the age of eighty-five.