If I had to cut one brother from the novel, it would, ironically, be the eldest: Stuart. Even his name does not rightly portray his status as a Costello brother. Perhaps, because of his superiority, he is the least likely to provide a modern view of Phillip’s case to their parents; this new Millennium may have escaped him.
Although childless (we are never told whose fault this is), Stuart and his wife Estella-Lucille, ‘Lucy’, are the archetypal ‘old Costello’ partnership, the greatest foil to the ‘new Costello’ partnership of Phillip and Aidelle and of Peter and Tia. Stuart is the obliging Lieutenant Colonel husband, with a head in war as all he’s known to fight for his country; Lucy is the gentle nurse wife, tending the sick back home.
Although Lucy has plain features that might crumble away if stared at for too long, she comes from the wealthy Alscot line. She agreed to be put forth for Stuart’s selection – though she had no glee at the idea of marrying a Costello – and was duly chosen by Stuart.
It soon became clear that traditionalism was their main tie; Lucy was sensible, but, unlike Aidelle, did not posses a quick wit. In this way, Stuart adds to the novel an image of what life might have been like back before the change of the Millennium. He had once had the rage of a young Costello – the same fire that clashes well between Dr. Costello and Phillip – but Stuart promptly swallowed his boyhood and married.
Stuart’s character suggests that his father’s authority is there to be challenged, that Dr. Costello is a man in the wrong and even his eldest, most traditional son, knows this fact. Stuart seems to push away his anxiety for the family to the point of keeping up appearances. However, his anger at the situation finally becomes known when Phillip is accused of both destroying the Costello name and madness of pacifism.
Aside from that, it is only Dr. Costello’s worry that Benjamin might soon follow suit that brings up the hidden past. More irony follows in the thought that Dr. Costello is shooting himself in the foot.