Lillie Mae Faulk – much like Lula Mae Barnes – was a beautiful Southern orphan (seen here in the headscarf), and God, she hated the country. Unlike Breakfast at Tiffany’s readers, she was not charmed by the fact that she was a southern orphan being sort-of, kind-of raised by her Aunt Jennie. Presumably, like Holly, she spent her youth in the South running through briar patches and stealing chicken eggs – but all she wanted to do was move to New York. Andreas Brown, a literary archivist claims:
“Lillie Mae Faulk was said to be a great Southern beauty. Not in the sense that we consider great beauties today [Ed note: I think this is an incredibly bitchy comment on Andreas Brown's part] but at that time she was considered a very attractive and charming woman. By all accounts the prettiest girl thereabouts, just an inch or so about five feet, dark blond hair, barely sixteen, but today what we might refer to as a bubblehead. She certainly was irresponsible, childlike, a case of arrested development in the sense that she pursued adolescent values well into her thirties. She married the first fellow who came along who had any money.”
That fellow was Arch Persons. He came from a good family and wooed her with a sports-car, which he said he could use to drive her to every city she wanted to go to. And oh, Lillie Mae was on it. They married after a few weeks – and then Arch ran out of money on their honeymoon. Completely. He was actually broke. They were forced to return to the small town of Monroesville. In many ways, it sounds similar to Holly’s marriage at 14 to Doc Golightly, except that Arch turned out to be a con man.
As soon as Lillie Mae realized this she tried to get a divorce – only to find out that she was pregnant. She told everyone she wanted an abortion, but was never able to follow through with it – in large part because Jennie Faulk, the aunt who had raised her convinced her not to. She returned to Arch. He promised he was going to get rich and move to New York.
To that end, he started attempting a series of get-rich-quick schemes which took him around the country. The couple lived in hotel rooms for the next five years. Desperate to find a way to get out her marriage, Lillie began taking a series of lovers. Truman claimed later that his earliest memory as a baby had been his mother having a series of assignations with men in hotel rooms.
And then she left to move to New York.