Jackson Harris is a main character in The Amber House Trilogy. An orphan, he grew up next-door to Amber House, raised by his maternal grandmother, Rose. He is one of two objects of romantic interest for protagonist Sarah Parsons.
Book I: Amber HouseEdit
Jackson meets Sarah in the first chapter of Amber House. He is oddly knowledgeable about her, despite the fact the two have never met. He tells Sarah about a cache of diamonds rumored to be hidden somewhere on the estate, piquing Sarah's interest and causing her to manipulate her mother Anne into staying at the house while Anne readies the place for sale.
Jackson is scarred and suffers epileptic seizures as a result of the car accident that orphaned him in the 1990s.
Jackson spends most evenings with Sarah, exploring the mansion with her and helping her to uncover long-buried family secrets. Eventually, Jackson is the one to explain to Sarah her psychometric abilities.
It is only later, when Sarah finally comes to terms with her deep connection to and fondness for the house that Jackson reveals an ability of his own: he is precognitive. He can see the future, and every vision of the future he has ever had has centered around Sarah, whom he has foreseen will be his wife. He also claims to see a future in which his parents are alive and he was never in a car crash. This information frightens Sarah, who believes that Jackson has confused his epileptic seizures with impossible expectations.
Jackson later uses his ability to aid Sarah in her rescue of Sammy (and Maggie) from the in-between. In the book's epilogue, it is revealed that an alternate timeline has resulted in a much different dynamic between Jackson and Sarah: the two grew up as lifelong friends, spending time together whenever Sarah visited her grandmother at Amber House. Jackson is still scarred, implying that although he and Sarah did manage to change time, as he had believed they could, they are still not in the timeline in which the car crash did not happen and he and Sarah eventually marry.
Jackson was raised by his grandmother, Rose Valois. Rose was a close friend of Sarah's own grandmother, Ida McGuinness, who took a special interest in Jackson -- a far-distant cousin, descended from a shared ancestor, Captain Joseph Foster.
Throughout Amber House, Jackson presents as a platonic companion for Sarah, until he reveals his ability to see the future and his visions that they will one day be married. Because his visions have occurred since he was very young, it can be inferred that Jackson loved Sarah even before he ever met her in Amber House. This supposition is supported by the fact that he read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, even though he didn't like it, merely because he knew it was Sarah's favorite book.
Jackson is fond of Sarah's brother, Sammy. In fact, Sammy presents with symptoms of hero-worship when it comes to his interactions with Jackson.
Jackson is viewed as a threat and a complication by Anne. Richard Hathaway also dislikes Jackson.
Jackson is described as tall and lanky, with green eyes and dark skin. Specific attention is paid to describing Jackson's hands, which Sarah compares favorably with her father's hands: "a surgeon's hands, full of skill and intelligence." Despite his height, Jackson's movements are descriibed as fluid and graceful.
Character traits and abilitiesEdit
Because of injuries sustained in the car accident that killed both his parents, Jackson is epileptic. He is also precognitive. It is unclear whether his visions always coincide with an epileptic seizure, although there is evidently some overlap, as Jackson at first dismissed his visions of the future as being a symptom of his epilepsy, or potentially as a punishment from God.
Jackson is incredibly driven, and in his visions he sees himself becoming a successful surgeon after studying at Johns Hopkins. Jackson is also a trained dancer: he reveals to Sarah that he learned to dance to feel closer to his mother, Cecelia, who was a ballerina in New York before her death.
- Jackson's birthday is April 12, 1993, making him an Aries.
- The authors avoided ever specifically labeling Jackson as "black" because they thought it was unnecessary to make overt racial distinctions in the book; they did, however, confirm in interviews that he is African American.
- Through Sarah's great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Captain Joseph Foster, Jackson and Sarah are seventh cousins (possibly once or even twice removed).