|“||I never thought about branching out because I never felt allowed to. I was always a good girl. I always did what my parents asked. That meant working for the family. It meant going to the right schools and wearing the right clothes and marrying... Marrying well.||”|
— Corinne to Will
Corinne Saybrook is the main character in "The Heiresses". The dutiful, precise and meticulous daughter, her perfectly-planned life is about to come crashing down after the latest tragedy rocks the family and a face not forgotten comes back into her life.
From an early age, Corinne has shown high levels of intelligence and maturity - from using a knife and fork at eighteen months to studying during recess, very unlike her sister. These traits were amplified even more when spending time with her mother Penelope, with long, girly weekends of tea at the Plaza and spa trips. But with her mother’s attention also came her criticism and instruction. Penelope had come from old money, she was very specific about how her daughter should behave. Study French. Attend the Junior League. Dress in classic lines. Marry well.
Corinne and Aster were close as children but later drifted apart as they got older. Corinne shot up the ranks at Saybrook’s, conquering one emerging market after the next while Aster never took another modeling job, barely showed up for Saybrook’s PR events, and frittered away her allowance. At the same time, Corinne dutifully invested, acquired, and got engaged.
After her rumored breakup with her boyfriend Dixon Shackelford, Corrine had taken a yearlong assignment in Hong Kong as a Saybrook’s business liaison.
According to Corinne, she has a "long forehead, square jaw, and thick eyebrows equated to something more handsome than pretty. Her shoulders were broad like her father’s, her chest small like her mother’s, her legs too thick and pale even after hours of Pilates, countless meals uneaten, and thousands spent on spray-tanning."
Corinne has a scar below her navel. She lied and said it was from emergency gallbladder surgery.
Corinne is an intelligent, dutiful woman who meticulously prepares out not only events and affairs but has her life outlined. She isn't used to small changes in plans or problems that have already been fixed, as she can easily panic. She is a notorious workaholic and very business-savvy. However, Corinne Saybrook is shown to have a low self-esteem, often believing herself to not being as pretty as Aster.
Dixon is Corinne's boyfriend. Five years ago at Steven Barnett's funeral, rumor had it that he broke her heart at the beginning of the summer before the events of the novel took place, which affected Corinne to a point where her skin became ashen and her balance seemed off when she arrived at the funeral. However, that seemed untrue, as Dixon came to propose to Corinne four years later and the two were having their wedding planned.
They’d become a couple effortlessly, and shortly thereafter a plan was put into place. Well, it was Corinne who’d instated the plan, but Dixon good-naturedly went along with it. Once they graduated from Yale, Dixon would work on the trading side of Shackelford Oil on Wall Street. Corinne would work at Saybrook’s. They would move into separate apartments in the same condo building, and then, once they were engaged at twenty-five, they would move into the three-bedroom penthouse. They would marry by twenty-six, have their first child at twenty-nine, and their second at thirty-one. And then they’d spend the next thirty years building their careers and raising the family.
Besides the blip when Dixon took off to England—and, well, the other incident Corinne tried never to think about—life had proceeded exactly to plan. Only, somehow, whenever Dixon proposed a wedding date last year, Corinne had found reasons to wait—the estate in Meriweather, where she insisted they have the wedding, was undergoing renovations last summer. Corinne also had an affair with Will, who she grew to have romantic feelings for.