John: the father and author.
Nina: his seven-year old.
Pinta: his five-year old.
Santa Maria: the wife and mother.
The Extended Family
The Abuelita: John's mother.
The GP and the GM, short for grand-père and grand-mère: Santa Maria's parents. (So christened because of the GM’s interest in giving scatological subjects a Continental veneer:she prefers that her grandchildren say “petard” for fart, and “caca” for poop.
John: a working dad from Brooklyn.
Frigga, his wife.
Buk and Atete, their rambunctious five-year-old girls.
de Balboa: a Brooklyn-based writer and fan of all things Italian.
Vasca Nuñez: his wife and the mother of their two young children.
Jim Blandings: A professional musician with a country house.
Muriel Blandings: His wife.
Vespucci: a Manhattan-based writer and fisherman.
Ameriga: Vespucci's esteemed girlfriend and the mother of his youngest.
(Some names have been changed to protect the innocent.)