Who's Who: The Weston Clan of Oklahoma
The father of the Weston family, aged 69, an alcoholic and washed-up poet. His mysterious disappearance one evening and eventually discovered death are the reasons for the family’s reunion. The reasons for his implied suicide are a major plot point that bring some of the family’s dark past painfully back into the light.
The mother of the Weston family, aged 65. Undergoing treatment for oral cancer, she is addicted to several prescription drugs, mostly depressants and narcotics. After an ugly rant at Beverly’s funeral dinner, the family’s focus shifts to keeping her clean. Despite her drug-induced episodes, she is sharp-tongued and shrewd; she is aware of the family’s many secrets and not hesitant to reveal them for her own benefit.
The oldest daughter of the Weston Family, age 46. Mother of Jean and wife of Bill, though they are currently separated. She is a college professor in Boulder, Colorado. She wants to save her marriage, but has the intense need to control everything around her as it falls apart.
The middle daughter of the Weston family, age 44. The only daughter to stay in Oklahoma, she works as a librarian at the local college, and her calm and patient exterior hides a passionate woman who is gradually growing cynical.
The youngest daughter in the Weston family, age 40. She is newly engaged to Steve, whom she considers the “perfect man”, and lives with him in Florida, planning to marry him soon. Karen can talk of little else but her own happiness even at her father’s funeral, and she clearly chooses to lie to herself about her fiancé rather than face the reality of not getting a happy ending.
Barbara’s estranged husband and Jean’s father, age 49. A college professor, he has left his wife for a younger woman named Cindy, one of his students, but wants to be there for his family. His marriage is disintegrating and his patience is slowly running thin.
Bill and Barbara’s smart-tongued 14-year-old daughter. She smokes pot and cigarettes, is a vegetarian, loves old movies, and is bitter about her parents’ split.
Karen’s fiancé, age 50. A businessman in Florida (whose business, it is hinted, centers around the Middle East and may be less than legitimate), and not the “perfect man” that Karen considers him.
Mattie Fae Aiken
Violet’s sister, Charlie’s wife and Little Charles’ mother, age 57. Just as jaded as her sister, Mattie Fae constantly belittles her son and antagonizes her husband.
Husband of Mattie Fae and the father of Little Charles, age 60. Charlie, a genial man, was a lifelong friend of Beverly. He struggles to get Mattie Fae to respect Little Charles.
“Little” Charles Aiken
Son of Mattie Fae and Charlie, 37 years old. Unemployed and clumsy, his mother calls him a “screw-up”, which may be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
A Cheyenne Indian woman, age 26, whom Beverly hires as a live-in housekeeper shortly before he disappears. Violet is prejudiced against her, but Johnna wins over the other family members with her cooking skills, hard work, and empathy. She is the silent witness to much of the mayhem in the house.
Sheriff Deon Gilbeau
A high-school classmate and former boyfriend of Barbara’s, age 47, who brings the news of Beverly’s suicide to the family.