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Writers and Readers Thoughts Appreciated with Name Dilemma

work_in_progress_imagelargeI have a work in progress, a possible name dilemma, and would appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

There are two sisters and I am going with two POVs, alternating chapters, or at least giving a fleuron space between changes. It is working out well except for some name confusion.

As a tribute to my mother and my aunt, I wanted to keep the names Claudette and Carol, even though this is fiction.

The story is about two young women, sisters, in the late fifties-early sixties who have manic-depression. Their personalities are vastly different.

Carol, whose name means “Song of Joy” is happy as a lark outwardly, an extrovert, but suffers depressive episodes that she is very good at hiding. She enters a room, opens a window and smells autumn in scents of cider and cinnamon. She is somewhat weak and fragile.

Claudette, the feminine form of Claude, means “Lame”, and she is sad and introverted. She is also a take charge sort of pragmatic person.  She is strong and comes across as stoic, unemotional and more stable, yet she is the sister who gets sent to an asylum after a manic (and sexual) episode which results in a serious argument with her mother. She enters the same room and notices the dust on the furniture, the paint curling on the plaster walls.

Herein lays the dilemma. They both share the last name of Barber. They share the same initials, C.B. They are the Barber sisters. Phonetically, Carol and Claudette are close. I would like to keep the names, both as tribute and because they are time period appropriate names for the era.

I have been reading articles about names and have seen where authors and readers have trouble with this.

A couple of times, I have slipped up in my going to another point of view, name-wise, and I am concerned that readers might do that. Have trouble keeping them separated in their mind, because they are sisters with phonetically similar names. Particularly, going back and forth between POVs. I don’t want for this to be difficult for readers.

I don’t think it is bad as say, Richard Ray and Robert Ray, because the initials of first and last names are different. They are not C.C. and C.C. That will also change when they marry.

So, are their names something I need to rethink, or will these work?

P.S. If I have failed to offer someone a proper thank you or response on Twitter, please forgive me. I have not quite figured out the etiquette and actions on that platform. Thank you to all followers who continue to tolerate me while I learn.