It's 1963 in Dunmaire, IL, just outside of Cleveland, OH.
Kate is 38, with 4 kids, the youngest of whom is 18 months old. She lives in Dunmaire, a middle class suburb of a large Midwest city, her husband commutes to a law firm in the city, leaving her stranded without a car in the 'burbs four days out of five. Catholic, a fixture at daily Mass, no one in town but her husband and her Jesuit spiritual director knows she has a doctorate in mathematics, she's a knot theorist and she still publishes.
Patricia (12), Katherine & Emma (twins, 4) and Charles (18 mos)
Harry 42, a dashing lawyer with greying hair, tall; he moves like a dancer and majored in math and philosophy at Georgetown. He grew up in Dunmaire, the son of the town doctors. His mother went to Bryn Mawr (class of 1915) and Women's Medical College in Philadelphia; his father to U Penn, where he stayed for medicine.
Cliff, Kate's late husband and Patricia's father. A mathematician at U of Chicago, he died of septicemia on Ash Wednesday in 1955 when Patty was 4 and Kate just about to turn 30.
Diana is Kate's much older sister.
John McSorley, SJ is Kate's long time spiritual director. Terrence, Cliff's younger brother, is a Jesuit scholastic.