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Ivy Whittaker is the mother of Polly, who is in her turn the heroine of Fire and Hemlock. Ivy is a highly suspicious (some would say paranoid) woman who is convinced that people are keeping secrets from her. She accuses both Polly's father Reg and her later boyfriend of keeping secrets from her, and they both end up leaving her. She also accuses Polly of trying to steal her boyfriend away from her, and of lying to her about other things. The arguments ends with Ivy refusing to let Polly live with her anymore.