Susan had one foot in rebellion and the other in conventionality. Her strengths were her forward-thinking mind, keen intelligence, and sensitivity. She was a romantic to the core. Her weaknesses were vacillation, putting her foot in the water and taking it out, and not being able to live up to her full potential.
Susan never fell out of love with Nathaniel even after ending their engagement. She cared deeply for her husband, Vasily Orlov, but her heart remained in Yorkshire. She was a loving mother to Daniel, her greatest source of joy, and had a close relationship with Cecilia, whom she considered her daughter.
Susan resumed her affair with Nathaniel in 1895 when Daniel and Cecilia were teenagers. She promised Nathaniel that this time they would be together but again she wasn't strong enough. Nathaniel was crushed that once more everyone else's feelings and Victorian society came before him. This contributed greatly to Nathaniel's downward spiral, and Susan carried a guilt over that for the rest of her life.
After the death of Daniel, Susan became a recluse, rarely leaving Grayson Hall. Her closest confidante was her personal maid, Mary O'Rourke, who once worked for Nathaniel. Daniel's cat Raven was her constant companion.