The book takes place in Liverpool during several decades.
The McCarthys live in Bootle, Liverpool.
One of the things Kitty learns in the 1950s which makes her afraid is that North Korea has invaded South Korea. The Korean War (25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953) began when North Korea invaded South Korea. The United Nations, with the United States as the principal force, came to the aid of South Korea. China came to the aid of North Korea, and the Soviet Union gave some assistance.
Kitty and Con talk about lots of subjects when they start going out together, even the death penalty. Kitty mentions Margaret Allen, a woman who was hanged in Manchester. Margaret Allen was a lesbian who dressed in men’s clothes and preferred to be called ‘Bill’ – she worked as local bus conductor. On the 28th August 1948 she battered Nancy Ellen Chadwick to death with a hammer. Mrs Chadwick was an elderly neighbour who had come to borrow a cup of sugar. She was convicted after a short trial held on the 8th December 1948 and was hanged on the 12th January 1949.
In the 1950s Jamie has to do the National Service. The system of conscription from 1939 to 1960 was called National Service. From 1 January 1949, healthy males 17 to 21 years old were expected to serve in the armed forces for 18 months, and remain on the reserve list for four years.
When Kitty gets pregnant, she goes with Faith and her children to Richmond, where she spends most of her pregnancy. Richmond is a suburban town in southwest London.
When Faith gets back with her husband, Kitty moves to live with Graham Sheridan, Faith’s sister’s ex-husband. They live in Grosvenor Square in London. Grosvenor Square is a large garden square in the Mayfair district.
In the 1960s Kitty works for a nurse, Hilda, in a charity for women. The area where the charity is located is Everton Valley. Everton Valley in Liverpool is in the North West region of England.
There is a mention of the Beatles and the Cavern where they played. The Cavern Club at 10 Mathew Street, in Liverpool was the venue where the Beatles‘ UK popularity started. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best were first seen by Brian Epstein at the club. Epstein eventually became their manager, going on to secure them a record contract.