“Soft and round, Ethel was the color of coffee with cream, with big freckles dotting her broad nose. Her wide set eyes were light brown, and her lips were thin. Short, just over five feet tall; she weighed well over two hundred pounds.” —Apron Strings by Mary Morony
Although Ethel is the Mackey’s maid, she is far more than that. She is the loving disciplinarian of her employer’s children and she takes pride in teaching them manners in the way she thinks her employer would want them taught. Her employer, Ginny, trusts her with them in her absence as she would trust a family member. She does not judge her on the color of her skin but by the love Ethel shows the children.