The setting is in Southern California, around the L.A. area, and specifically the "urban sprawl" that is taking over the countryside. The timeperiod is modern day,
In these two quotation, Emma, (Ella's daughter and Wesley's sister) describes her life and times, a family caught in a disappearing frontier and plagued by their own demons as well.
‘‘It’s always there. It comes onto us like nightmare."
“His father was just like him. And his father before him. Wesley is just like Pop, too. Like liquid dynamite... Nitroglycerine. In the blood.”
Who and what is killing the old way of life in modern times, modern California? The answer is both society and ourselves.