Aster Saybrook is one of the main characters in "The Heiresses". She is the beautiful but reckless Saybrook girl who’s never worked a day in her life — and who’s covering up her father’s darkest secret.
Growing up, Aster Saybrook was able to get away with the trouble and mischief she caused. Unlike her respectable and mature sister, Aster was a difficult child - she threw her food against the wall well into preschool, bought test answers on the playground, and was praised for getting a B as if she had to do little more than showing up for the class to earn it. Her parents always made excuse after excuse for her, and even her father Masen favors her more than Corinne, even taking one of their special trips to Meriweather or the Berkshires while Corinne preferred to spend time with her mother Penelope. However, Penelope never installed the strict rules in Aster like she did with Corinne.
When she was 10, one of her cousins got married and she was able to be the flower girl, something she thought was very special. However, her shoes hurt and her mother was rude to her when she asked to wear different shoes. Mason had saved her night though, pulling her into his lap, sneaking her cake, and lending her some comforting words of advice. This was the first time Aster questioned if she had to be an Heiress, but her father just laughed and told her that she's Saybrook.
As a child, Mason allowed her to name a taxidermied elephant that was in his office that always scared her. She named it Dumbo but still didn't like it, as the elephant was different than that of the cartoon or movie - her father had killed it.
Aster and Corinne were close and children, but they began to drift away as they got older - then she stopped listening to her older sister. Aster dropped out of college after a year and settled into the life of a socialite, with her parents bankrolling her and continuing on making excuses after excuses for her.
She is the younger sister of Corrine, and had spent the summer modeling in Europe before gathering at Steven Barnett's funeral.
Five years after Steven's funeral, Aster comes to Corinne's wedding dress fitting, drunk, wet, and an hour late, all while reeking of tobacco and booze. This embarrasses Corinne, and an angered Poppy, through a kind and motherly façade, leads her away.
Aster is described as being tall with ice-blonde hair and with bags under her large, luminous eyes. She used to have long hair until she was dared to chop it off and her stylist left it with "the front at an exaggerated, crooked angle over her left eye".
She also integrated her grandmother's good bone structure, the high cheekbones and tiny pert nose that Aster had thankfully inherited.
Aster is a spontaneous, adventurous girl who lives the fast, luxurious life. A daredevil rather than a girl seeking attention, she is prone to new plans and not afraid to participate in whimsical, crazy, and maybe dangerous activities. For Aster, every thrill needs to be more thrilling than the last. She's also a troublemaker, leaving her parents to make excuse after excuse all while bankrolling her.
Corinne and Aster were once close as children but drifted apart as adults. Corinne, though jealous of Aster's beauty and freedom, is always disappointed with Aster's poor appearances, such as coming drunk and late, to her planned events and usually ejected her out. What Corinne didn’t know was that Aster had protected her all these years. She’d preserved Corinne’s perfect little view of their family. Oh, there’d been plenty of times when Aster had almost blurted out what she knew, but something inside her had held back, knowing it would shatter her sister even more than it had shattered Aster.
Natasha and Aster were best friends for years, though she always hogged the spotlight and begged her to come to every school play she was in, even once dragging Aster to accompany her to an open-call Broadway audition when they were both fourteen years old. However, when Natasha disinherited herself, she acted as if she didn't need Aster anymore.
Aster first met Mitch at a company Christmas party, where she thought he was cute and sweet. She was nice to him, something that Mitch always remembered and appreciated. Over a year later, they met again at Saybrook's Diamonds when Aster was forced to start working at the company. Mitch was kind to her and helped her do tasks for their benevolent boss, Elizabeth Cole. She was confused about how to work Excel, and he happily helped her navigate the program and avoid technical mishaps. They became friends, and she enjoyed his kindness, humor, and energy. He was surprised by her actions as he thought she would act mightier than him due to her being a Saybrook.
They became close, and he helped her delve into the truth about what happened to her cousin, Poppy, and her fathers' involvement. He hacked into Mason's email, and in return for his help, he asked her to go on a date with him. Aster happily agreed and brought him to Corinne's wedding rehearsal. She introduced him to all of her friends and some of her family. Clarissa Darrow hurried up to them and instantly started talking about one of Aster's exes, and noted that he would be at a club later that night. She invited Aster to come along, and Mitch introduced himself.
He was a little put off by the fact that there was another guy that Aster was interested in and questioned who the man was. Clarissa even expressed disappoint about Aster hanging out with someone of a "lesser class" than them. She told Aster to think about coming along with them, before hurrying off to another group of people. Aster apologized to Mitch for Clarissa's behavior, and he awkwardly told her that if she wanted to go along with her friends to that club he wouldn't be offended. Touched by his kind heart, she kissed him, making it clear that she wanted to be there with him instead.
- Steven Barnett - The pair met and hung out during the Saybrook end-of-summer party at Meriweather. Steven was working at Saybrook's Diamonds at the time, and he was her father's right-hand-man and was supposed to be the next president of the company. The pair hit it off, and they heavily flirted with each other. He then leads her toward the beach, and the pair had an affair that night. Aster knew that he was married, but wanted to rebel in order to hurt her father, whom she thought was having an affair with her best friend.
- Nigel - Nigel was Aster’s latest hookup at the beginning of the book. He is the drummer and head songwriter of the British band Lotus Blackbeard. She’d picked him up last week at Gray Lady, and he’d spent every night at her apartment since.
- Clarissa Darrow - Clarissa is Aster's tall, rail-thin, and brown-haired best friend and maybe frenemy, who is the daughter of a hedge fund billionaire. Aster had met Clarissa in second grade, yet Clarissa still spoke with an affected British accent. She was always either getting in trouble or making trouble. Aster could never really trust Clarissa, as she suspected that Clarissa was responsible for some of the leaks in the media regarding her family.
- Javier - A wild and unexpected artist who uses unconventional items in his fashion design.
- Orlean - Orlean is a tall, sinewy writer for Rolling Stone whom Aster had met in Europe. He was Aster's shopping buddy these days, although she suspected that he only liked her because of the preferential treatment that many stores gave her.
- Faun - Aster's friend from Tangiers who was always dragging her from one building to another in Manhattan during her real estate quest.
- Nigel - Her latest fling and considered a "friend-with-benefits", he is a drummer and songwriter for a popular British band called Lotus Blackbeard.
|“||Aster didn’t believe in the curse, but she did know that if another Saybrook died young, she’d be the one. Her reckless, feckless lifestyle was a ticking time bomb. Deep down, she worried she wasn’t long for this world.||”|
— Aster's thinks she's next
- A list of the Aster experienced includes the time she and her rotating posse piled into a private plane and flew to Ibiza; the time they pooled their cash to buy a Porsche Carrera and drove to someone’s upstate chalet at 2:00 a.m.; the time she stayed in a mansion in Harlem for a week and partied like people in the Jazz Age. Once she flew a friend’s twin-prop plane around his Connecticut airfield on a dare, even though her last lesson had been years ago. She’d water-skied naked on an ice-cold lake in Maine, and mountain-biked down dangerous trails in Sedona.
- Aster actually enjoys poetry made by free-spirited women poets from the 1920s.
- Aster confessed to Poppy that she’d seduced her European history teacher at NYU for a better grade.
- When she was a little girl, she had a floor-through playroom and a rotating staff of nannies.