Richard Hathaway is a main character in The Amber House Trilogy.  Richard lives with his father, Senator Robert Hathaway, in an estate next-door to Amber House.  He is one of two objects of romantic interest for protagonist Sarah Parsons.

Book I:  Amber HouseEdit

Sarah first notices Richard at her grandmother Ida's funeral.  She states that he and his father leave in a black sedan, and that she wishes she had got a better look at him.

Richard reappears a day later, when Sarah is wholely unprepared and dressed in her sleeping clothes.  Richard is friendly and doesn't seem to mind.  Sarah is overwhelmed by how attractive he is.  He asks her to show him around Amber House.  She is embarassed when he turns out to know more about the house and its history than she does.  He explains that his mother had researched the history of the house before she died.  When the two stumble upon a barren room with an iron keyhole, he even warns her that local superstition states that the house is haunted by the ghost of Deirdre Foster, the crazy wife of a Colonial sea captain who had to be locked up like Mrs. Rochester from Jane Eyre.

Richard and Sarah flirt and even race around the house and down to the family dock on the river, where they find a sloop.  Richard asks Sarah is she knows how to sail, which she does.  He invites her to go sailing.  Sarah is thrilled by the idea of going on a date, but isn't sure if he's just being friendly.

When Richard and Sarah do go sailing, he reveals a reckless side, risking their lives doing a stunt with his boat.  After they return to Amber House, Richard invites Sarah to a party with some local kids.  At the party, Richard acts possessive of Sarah and annoys her, so she challenges him to a boat race.  He kisses her without permission when he drops her off after the party -- her first kiss.

Sarah asks her friend Jackson Harris to be her partner in the boat race.  The two beat Richard, who is something of a sore loser.  But he calls Sarah to congratulate her and invite her to spend the day with him.  He is her special guest at his exclusive private school, where he and his friends ditch class to strip to their underwear and swim in the gym's pool.  There Sarah learns from Richard's friend Kathryn that Richard's mother isn't dead.  She left her husband and Richard.

When Sarah confronts him about it, he apologizes and reveals he didn't want her to know his mother abandoned him. Sarah and Richard continue to see each other, going on a couple more dates -- horseback riding, visiting the capitol in D.C. -- and he eventually gives her a gold necklace that belonged to his mother as an early birthday present.

At Sarah's birthday party, she spends the evening almost exclusively with Richard, dining with him, riding in a gondola with him, and even gambling a little bit.  When he asks her to slow-dance, however, she refuses, telling him she doesn't know how.  He continues to gamble in the casino in the parlor, and Sarah sees him drinking some champagne.  She leaves to get her fortune told, then follows a vision into the hedge maze, where she encounters Jackson and he teaches her to slow-dance.

Richard follows a trail of gold glitter from Sarah's dress and finds her in the maze with Jackson.  When he sees them dancing together, he thinks Sarah lied about not knowing how to dance.  Obviously slightly intoxicated, he overreacts, yanking his mother's necklace from around Sarah's neck and backhanding Jackson in the face.

In the Epilogue, Sarah encounters Richard and notes that although she had always found him attractive, she for some reason isn't as charmed by him anymore.


Richard at first comes off as a flirt, but over the course of Amber House his feelings for Sarah become sincere.  He is drawn to Sarah's wit and competitive nature.

Richard's many friends comprise a number of peripherary characters, but his close friend Kathryn -- who is like a sister to him -- also becomes close to Sarah.

Richard is often compared to his father, Robert, who is the picture-perfect politician.  Richard and Robert seem to have a close father-son relationship, but Richard's multitude of accomplishments (fencing, sailing, etc.) seem to imply that he is pushed either overtly or subconsciously to live up to his father's expectations.


Richard, like his father, is tall and blonde with tan skin "like a speckled egg" and a charming wide smile, "square with just a little crooked."  Richard is also described as resembling Sarah's great-grandmother Fiona's beau, Edward.

Character traits and abilitiesEdit

Sarah states that Richard is exceptional at everything he attempts.  She speculates that if required, he could probably bake a "mean cherry pie."  He can sail, ride horseback, fence, and drives incredibly fast without incident.  He is reckless, cocky, but also vulnerable and obviously deeply affected by his mother's abandonment of the family.


  • Richard's birthday is June 7, 1993, making him a Gemini, which is associated with extroversion, flexibility, and occasionally being "two-faced."