The main characters of the short story “What We Talk about When We Talk about Love” by Raymond Carver are Mel, Terri, Nick and Laura. Mel is a cardiologist who is married to Terri, his second wife. 

Nick, who is the narrator of the story, is married to Laura, with whom he has been together for a year and a half. Laura, his wife, is three years younger than him and has met Nick at work. Both Nick and Laura have been married before, just like Mel and Terri: “ ‘You’ve both been married before, just like us.’ ” 

The narrative follows the two couples as they drink together before dinner, and as they start a conversation about love. Although Mel leads the conversation, all the other characters’ opinions of love are presented as well. 

You can read a full characterization of Mel, Terri, Nick, and Laura in the following pages. 

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