Valerie first came onto the scene as acting quickly in a crisis, when she helped Mrs. Turner attend to the medical needs of men in an exploded building after an accident on the docks. She has an enormous presence and personality, is often “one of the lads” when working at the pub, and was a bit bored with doing not much until she decided to accept a position as a nurse and midwife at Nonnotus. She saw the chance to do something different and leapt on it — the same mentality that led her to join up and become a war medic, in and out of combat and on the front lines. She handles a crisis easily, but has no real long-term plan for her life. Valarie also does not think much beyond the present; the identity of Poplar’s illegal abortionist blindsides her. She is primarily interested in and invested in people. Valerie easily makes friends and knows how to comfort, console, and reassure her patients and bystanders alike. She is fiercely independent, asserting her atheism when Sister Monica Joan attempts to talk to her about God, and stating her mind whenever faced with a crisis (“If this is God’s work,” she tells a nun after a miscarriage, “I don’t know why you want anything to do with him!”). When Valerie finds out about her grandmother’s crimes, she refuses to have anything to do with it, or cover it up, even though it draws “fire” from all her relatives and many of the people in Poplar for her “betrayal.” Valerie is often straightforward and even blunt, but with a sense of humor (she chides Trixie for being appalled at her boyfriend seeing her in her curlers, since “He knows you don’t wake up looking the way you do”). She is factual and driven to accomplishments, but can also be super blunt and authoritative if the situation calls for it (telling people off for their racism).

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Valerie has an irreverent sense of humor and tries not to take anything too seriously. Whenever confronted by anything unpleasant or hard, she often turns it into a joke for her own amusement and the happiness of others, from thermal underwear in below-zero temperatures to the strictness of the Mother Superior. It’s incredibly difficult for her to face up to the bad things in her life; she does not open up about her wartime experiences much, she turns difficult patient procedures into games, and she is absolutely devastated about the truth of her grandmother. She disintegrates into 1ish harshness with her, chastising her for her illegal actions and shaming her for not thinking about the potential consequences to her own career. She isn’t above asserting her 8 wing — she tells people off for being too loud, for pointlessly arguing, and for being in her way. She is not afraid to be firm and open about her opinions, even if others disagree with them, and does not feel threatened by conflict or disagreement.