Helen, Rita and Amy Barksdale's mother in Richard Lobinske's Falling Into College and John Lane Series. She is a fine example of a southern matriarch. Widowed after the death of her husband Simon, a banker, she inherited a comfortable fortune and managed it well for years. However, in "And the Bubble Burst," she had lost much of it day trading stocks, forcing her and Rita to ask Helen and Amy for help to recover. Tess was unhappy with Helen's decision to marry Jake and long considered it a mistake until the events of "A Matter of Priorities."