Most of the action takes place in Dublin, particularly in Swords. Swords is the county town of Fingal in County Dublin, Ireland. It is variously defined as an expansive satellite town within commuting distance of Dublin city, as a large suburb of the capital and as an emerging city in its own right. It is about 13 km north of Dublin city centre.
Part of the story tells us about Dresden bombings which Tobias Hartmann experienced as a young man. The bombing of Dresden was a British/American aerial bombing attack on the city of Dresden that took place during the Second World War in the European Theatre. In four raids between 13 and 15 February 1945, 722 heavy bombers of the British Royal Air Force and 527 of the United States Army Air Forces dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on the city. The bombing and the resulting firestorm destroyed over 6.5 km2 of the city centre.An estimated 22,700 to 25,000 people were killed.
Martha’s mother is a volunteer in Sunshine House, which is a convalescence home for children with life limiting diseases. Actually, Martha’s sister had spina bifida so she was one of those children staying in the home.