This is the complicated relationship/rivalry between Peter the Woodcutter and Suzette, when Peter tries to reason with Suzette about his love for Valerie, Suzette tries to keep them apart because of Valerie's short-lived arranged engagement to Henry Lazar for "a better life".
Upon hearing the news about her engagment to Henry an unhappy Valerie plans to run away with Peter, but their plans are put on hold when the town sirens erupt, telling the couple that the werewolf who terrorizes their village has struck again. On closer inspection of the victim, it is found to be Lucie, Valerie's older sister. The townspeople offer a monthly sacrifice to the beast and stay away from the woods but Lucie ventured there after discovering that Valerie had been promised an engagement to Henry, whom Lucie loves.
When Madame Lazar, Adrian Lazar and Henry arrived at their home to give their condolences, Suzette wanted Valerie, who was in tears at the time, to greet Henry and Adrian but Adrian told Henry to let the women grieve in their own way, leaving for the pub.
Peter shows up at Valerie's house to offer his condolenses, but Suzette, aware of his feelings for her daughter, sees through his facade and confronts him, telling him that she's lost one daughter and Valerie's all she has left. Peter claims to have a trade, the same one her husband has, Suzette disagrees with his offer, knowing what a woodcutter earns for a living. In further attempts to keep Peter away from Valerie, Suzette claims that Valerie's engagement to Henry Lazar is her last chance for "a better life", culminating with Suzette threatining Peter, that if he truly loved her daughter, he should let her go. Having lost his argument with Suzette, Peter, having no choice, relutenly agrees to stay away from Valerie and leaves distraught.
Suzette, knowing how Valerie feels about barely knowing her fiancee, confesses to Valerie that she didn't love her father when they were first married - at the time she was in love with another man. When Valerie looked at her surprised that her mother was like, in Valerie's situation, promised to be with one but in love with another, Suzette claimed that she came to love their father and that he'd given her two beautiful daughters and that with her knowledge, she will grow to love Henry, like her mother had grown to love her father, however, Valerie's rather unfazed by that knowledge.
- It's positive that Suzette was in once in the same position as Valerie, how she was kept away from her true love and forced to marry someone rich at the time to "live a better life"
- t's revealed in the book, just like how Suzette kept Peter away from his true love, Madame Lazar disapproved of Suzette and Adrian's relationship and kept them from being together, resulting in Suzette marrying Cesaire "for a better life".