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Name: Frances Goldsmith

Nickname: Fran/Frannie

Age: 21

Parents: Peter and Carla (deceased 1990)

Siblings: Fred (deceased 1973)

Occupation: Student (College)

Home: Ogunquit, Maine

Post-Plague: Boulder, Colorado

Status: Immune


Odessa Young (CBS All Acess Miniseries)

Molly Ringwald (ABC Miniseries)


Jesse Rider 

Stu Redman 

Harold Lauder 

Chapter Appearances:

2, 6, 12, 20, 28, 36, 42, 46, 47, 50, 51

Random Facts:

Newly pregnant when the story begins.


Captain Trips

Fran, a 21 year old college student, discovers she is pregnant by her poet boyfriend, Jesse Rider. The news puts a strain on the relationship, especially as Fran realizes she doesn't love Jesse anymore, if she ever did. Her father, Peter, is supportive of the news, but her emotionally unavailable, strict mother is less than thrilled about the prospect of becoming a grandmother. 

She makes plans to live with a couple of roommates while her relationship with Jesse comes to an end. But her mother falls ill with Captain Trips, and soon after, dies. Her beloved father Peter falls ill as well and dies in the house. Fran buries him in his garden and then leaves Ogunquit with Harold, the off-putting brother of her childhood best friend Amy. 

Fran and Harold meet Stu Redman in New Hampshire on their way to Stovington, Vermont to the plague center when Stu informs them of his time there, and that it's a waste of time as everyone there is dead. Fran believes him but Harold is distrustful and wants to double check the plague center anyway. Stu relents and the three head west toward Vermont, picking up Glen Bateman in New Hampshire on the way.


Her mother had died in the Sanford Hospital and her father, who had once made a little girl feel welcome in his shop, was lying dead in the bed above her head. Why did everything have to keep coming in rhymes? Coming and going in such dreadful cheap jingles and jangles, like the idiot mnemonics that recur in fevers? My dog has fleas, they bite his knees-- (Chapter 28)

My parents are dead, but I can take it. Some weird disease seems to have spread across the entire country, maybe the entire world, mowing down the righteous and the unrighteous alike - I can take it. I'm digging a hole in the garden my father was weeding only last week, and when it's deep enough I guess I'm going to put him in it - I think I can take it. But Harold Lauder in Roy Brannigan's Cadillac, feeling me up with his eyes and calling me "my child"? I don't know, my Lord. I just don't know. (Chapter 28)

Some girls could be owned and some could not. This one looked like the latter type. She was tall and pretty and very fresh-looking. Her dark eyes and hair accentuated a look that could be taken for dewy helplessness. It would be easy to miss that faint line (the I-want line, Stu's mother had called it) between her eyebrows that became so pronounced when she was put out, the swift capability of her hands, even the forthright way she tossed her hair from her forehead.- Stu Redman (Chapter 42)