Marlee Woodwork (née Tames), also known as Mallory, is a supporting character in The Selection Series. She was a Four chosen for Prince Maxon's Selection and quickly became America Singer's best friend. She was also one of the Six Elites.
Marlee was taught by tutors along with a group of other girls who were Four in her hometown, Kent, and she was excited about the Selection. Marlee and America Singer immediately became best friends after meeting each other during the Selection.
Marlee was seen by reporters singing the national anthem of Illéa during her departure from her Province to the Palace. Marlee first met America Singer, Celeste Newsome, and Ashley as they were leaving for the palace. America and Marlee bonded as soon as they met. The two quickly became friends and got along fine. Despite being close friends, the two did keep secrets from each other. After Marlee's first date with Prince Maxon, Marlee lost interest in the prince but didn't want to leave the Selection for a then-unknown reason.
When the Royal Palace held a Halloween Ball, Marlee dressed up as an angel. That night she was found in a closet with "an unzipped dress, a kiss and Carter Woodwork was topless," according to Aspen, later who heard about Marlee and Carter being together. Then they were caught. They were demoted to Eights and beaten in a prison before they were caned for their "treason to Prince Maxon". The sentence was traditionally execution, but Maxon bargained with his father to have them caned instead. Carter admits his love to Marlee during the caning, telling her he loves her through the crying and the pain.
America later was shocked by the fact that Marlee was having an affair with a guard as she had once bumped into, Carter Woodwork, at a public gathering and now they were having one for the couple to be caned. Marlee was caned on her palms while Carter was caned on his bare back. Through the caning, Marlee fainted but Carter continued to say he loved her and that they would get through it. America attempted to free the two, but two guards took America to her room. A writer of a magazine wrote that America should have been punished for being "an accessory to treason" after trying to free the two, and Celeste, one of the Selected, showed America a magazine in which she placed last on a poll for whom the public liked best.
Subsequently, Maxon took America to the princess's room and there America was reunited with Marlee, who became a maid in the kitchen. Marlee said that Carter was still healing from getting his back caned, but said he might be able to start working at the stables. After the caning, Maxon was afraid they would be hurt if they were left on their own, so he kept them secretly in the palace. Two other servants, Juan Diego and his sister Abril, who had family in Panama, were sent there instead. Carter was growing out his beard and they were given new names, Carson and Mallory, so that no one will know the truth, except from some cooks, one nurse, Maxon and America. Marlee also explained that she and Carter got married, and they lived in a small one-room apartment. Before leaving, Marlee told America to not give up on winning the Selection.
In The One, Marlee appeared beside Anne to help treat America's shot wound in the arm. At the end of the book, Marlee became the only bridesmaid at America's and Maxon's wedding. She and her husband became attendants of the Royal Couple and the first casteless citizens of Illéa. Carter in particular asked Maxon to remain in his position as the groundskeeper of the palace; while Marlee became one of America's lady-in-waiting. This was a clear sign to the public of the way Maxon would reign and many people welcomed this change.
Post The One
Marlee and Carter were made casteless when they became Royal Advisers. Marlee had Kile Woodwork with Carter a year after their marriage. They attended the new King's Birthday party in August. Later, her daughter, Josie Woodwork, was born. 19 years later, in The Heir, Kile participated in Princess Eadlyn's Selection. The family still lives in the palace on the same floor with the Royal Family. Thus the Schreave and the Woodwork children have been raised together almost like siblings.
Encouraged by Eadlyn Schreave, Maxon and America's daughter, she eventually confesses that she feels she is permanently indebted to the royal family for pardoning her and her husband all those years ago. "Carter and I would have died years ago if it wasn't for you and Maxon. I didn't feel like I could ever not be in the process of thanking you." [Marlee to America in The Crown].
Marlee is very kind and genuinely nice. She is very peppy and cheerful. Because of her kindness, she was the public's favorite and wanted as the princess. However, once she was caught having an affair with one of the guards, Marlee lost the public's interest and was kicked out of the Selection. She quickly became America's best friend and they spent a lot of time together while she was in the Selection. Although in the beginning they kept some secrets from each other, later they become the confidantes of each other, talking briefly even about their wedding night. Always happy and positive, she very rarely gets sad or upset and dislikes quarrels. Even during her caning and life as a kitchen maid, she retained her dignity and devotion for Carter.
Marlee is described as gorgeous, and has golden blonde hair and warm brown eyes. Being so beautiful, America wanted Maxon to choose Marlee at the beginning of The Selection, because she thought Marlee would have made a beautiful and wonderful princess.
At the beginning of Prince Maxon's Selection, Marlee got extensions in her hair during the makeover.
Her hands are scarred from the caning in The Elite.
- Marlee is the character with the most caste changes. She was born a Four, but after being chosen for the Selection, she became a Three. After committing "treason" to the royal family for having an affair, she was banished to become an Eight. However, Maxon pardons Marlee and her husband and has them become Sixes. Marlee worked in the kitchen palace as a maid for some time. In the end, she and her husband become the first people without a caste in Illéa and they become royal attendants of Maxon and America. If the castes still existed, she would be restored to Carter's caste, Two.
- Carter and Marlee Woodwork had the honor of becoming the first casteless citizens, before the abolishment of the castes was even announced publicly. Thus, their son Kile was among the first children in Illéa who were born without a caste.
- The Favorite novella is from Marlee's point of view.
- Marlee was the citizens' favorite Elite competitor before her caning. Similar with her son Kile being also a favorite competitor.
- Marlee is the attendant of America Schreave. And later became a Lady-In-Waiting.
- Winter is her favorite season.
- She met Carter when she tripped on the stairs at the palace.
- According to Aspen Leger, she told her daughter Josie to take off the eyeliner after Lucy taught her how to put it on.
- During America's pregnancy (it is not stated which one or if it was all of them), she held America's hair back during her morning sickness.
- "See the blond girl over there in the pink? That’s Marlee. Sweetheart, very kind, loves movies. Go." — America Singer to Maxon, encouraging him to talk to Marlee
- "I keep waiting for a moment to come when he’ll say or do something to make me feel like we have something in common, but it never happens." — Marlee Woodwork to America Singer about her feelings toward Maxon
- "America, you are full of nothing but bad ideas. Great intentions, but awful ideas." — Marlee Woodwork to America Singer
- "There was too much love in my heart to leave room for regret." — Marlee Tames
- "He was control to her chaos; she was levity to his seriousness." — Marlee Tames about Maxon and America
Meet Marlee! The people's favourite of the Selection!