Phoebe is rather too obviously a "little ray of sunshine." She is seventeen years old, beautiful, wholesome, obedient, loving, respectful, and practical. But she is intellectually shallow and without much curiosity. She is the daughter of Arthur Pyncheon, the cousin of Hepzibah, Clifford, and the Judge; he took up farming and married a country girl out of his social class. Phoebe's branch of the family lost contact with the other Pyncheons until she comes to stay with Clifford and Hepzibah after her mother, a widow, remarried. During Phoebe's visit, Hepzibah finds her to be cheerful, hard-working and good at taking care of the cent-shop. She spends her extra time with Holgrave, with whom she falls in love; at the end of the novel the two young people are to be married.