Reading Lila’s Story made me curious about the bio I remembered reading in the back of book 5. It was part of a series of similar short character descriptions that appeared in the backs of the earliest books. I think there were only three of them; the other two were for Roger Collins and Bill Chase (whose bio is also at the end of book 5). But although the tidbits we’re given about Mr. Collins and Bill feature prominently in future stories about them, Lila’s never do!
Her bio tells us a little of what we already know: she’s wealthy, she’s spoiled, she wants to help Jessica keep Pi Beta Alpha “free of nerds, fatties, and other types they’ve deemed undesirable.” It also underscores how Liz stays away from Lila because she doesn’t like snobs, and reminds us of Lila’s brief bout of shoplifting. And it tells us once again that Lila’s father is computer chip “new money” and is constantly at odds with the “old money” Patmans, whose dough apparently comes from “canning” or at least that’s what the dominant industry in Sweet Valley was thirty years ago. But here’s what else it says:
Lila’s family. Lila’s mother is a former Hollywood bit actress who’s now “living it up in Europe with her jet-setter friends.” Her mother visits infrequently, and this year she confessed to Lila that George isn’t her real dad. She was already pregnant with Lila when she met George, and he agreed to marry her and give Lila the Fowler name. Her mom wouldn’t say who Lila’s real dad is, but Lila hopes it’s someone famous and now checks out the movie star faces to see if she can find any resemblance to herself. Lila is secretly afraid George doesn’t care about her because she isn’t his real daughter.
Lila’s true love. Lila fell in love for the first time not with Evan Armstrong, as I think we were just lead to believe, but with a boy named Ted Whitlock from Boston. She met him while she was visiting some relatives there the summer before 11th grade, but his family was true old money (from the Mayflower days) and looked down on her. When Lila went home at the end of the summer, they promised to write, but she only got one letter from him – in which he asked why she wasn’t writing him. She’d sent him five letters and thinks his parents threw them out. She finally tried to call him, but his mother answered and told Lila he wasn’t around. According to the book, Lila is hung up on Ted and wants to let him know she still loves him, and even marry him one day.
Lila’s ambitions. I didn’t realize Lila was a serious tennis player, but the bio says she idolizes Chris Evert Lloyd and wants to be a pro player just like she is. Well, you’d think she and Kristin Thompson would be better friends then. Lila also thinks marrying Ted will make her father notice her since Ted is even richer than George. Wow. Major Daddy issues. Major.
So, that’s that. We never heard a word of this ever again! These are the only three character bios that I found in the backs of my books; if you’ve seen more, let me know!