Main female character
Anna Miller, the first-person narrator; mid-thirties, married to Max; housewife and mother of Benjamin and Julia; dedicated to her family; works part-time for the diet magazine 'Half Portions'; suffers a slipped disc on Mother's Day; goes for physiotherapy exercise classes where by chance she meets her old flame and former colleague Martin, who has still not lost his fascination for her; because the love relationship with Max has been put on the back burner since his promotion to the position of chief designer, she agrees to go on a date with Martin; when Max ends up cheating on her when he goes on a business trip, she turns to Martin and escapes reality with him for a few days in a romantic hotel in Tuscany; Anna experiences the escape with Martin as a journey into the land of fairytales – she is the princess, he the gallant knight; the longing for her children, however, compels her to return home and she finally acknowledges that she still loves Max and wants to stay with him; subtle love scenes with Max, and love scenes with Martin.
Husband of the main female character
Max Miller, Anna's husband and father of Benjamin and Julia; works as chief designer in a development team for an automobile manufacturer; likes to listen to Mozart and is a romantic at heart; stress at work causes him to forget his family sometimes; while on a business trip, he can't resist the feminine charms of a colleague and cheats on his wife; when Anna confronts him he lies at first, but then admits to wrongdoing, saying that it means nothing to him; when Anna disappears, he fears for his marriage, and, taking the children with him, goes looking for her; in the end, he gives the relationship with Anna another chance; Max's night of infidelity is discussed, but not described.
Former male colleague (and love interest) of the main female character
Martin Zimmerman, attractive banker, recently divorced; also plagued by backache; Anna's former colleague; after they had developed an affection for each other years ago, he simply left Anna hanging because he was afraid of a permanent relationship at that time; their chance meeting awakens his old feelings for her, and he would like to win Anna back; he persuades her to go with him on a short trip to Tuscany, and proposes marriage in Florence; in the end he has to acknowledge that he has already missed his chance of a future with Anna.
Son of the main female character
Benjamin, Anna and Max's son; of kindergarten age; a little rascal who has a sensitive side.
Daughter of the main female character
Julia, Anna and Max's two year old daughter; a sweet little girl, whose digestive system keeps her mother very busy.
Mother-in-law of the main female character
Mathilda, Anna's mother-in-law, small (approx. five feet tall) with sleek, neck-length, grey hair with a soft purple rinse; member of a cooking group by the name of Seniors' Costly Cooking; her husband, Max's father, died as a result of a war injury.
Mother of the main female character
Sylvia, Anna's mother; widow, slim, with short, ash-blond hair; wears Chanel No.5; attends a literature circle as a hobby; gives Anna support by being a loving grandmother.
Best female friend of the main female character
Kathy, Anna's best friend, pharmacist, married to Jacob; Lisa and Mark's mother; cheerful, well-balanced and down-to-earth; gives Anna advice on life in general; not very keen on the idea of going to America for three years with husband, Jacob.
Husband of the heroine's best friend
Jacob, Kathy's husband; receives an offer to work in Silicon Valley for three years, which he would love to accept.
Son of the heroine's best friend
Mark, Kathy and Jacob's two year old son.
Daughter of the heroine's best friend
Lisa, Kathy and Jacob's daughter of kindergarten age.
The best friend of the heroine's son
Christian, Benjamin's best friend.
Mother of the best friend
Mrs Klein, Christian's mother; plays tennis and drives a BMW; makes a brief appearance only.
Female neighbour of the main female role
Mrs Frank, Anna and Max's neighbour; grey eyes, ginger hair, always getting on Anna's nerves with her well-meaning pieces of advice; helpful on occasion, but touchy on matters concerning her garden.
Dr. Hartman, orthopaedic specialist; broad as a beam, but a pleasant doctor, always in a good mood.
Hairdresser of the main female character
Paula, Anna's hairdresser.
Setting of the story
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Anna Miller has chestnut brown hair and brown eyes. She really has no reason to complain about anything in life. She is married to Max Miller who is extremely attractive with his jade green eyes and black hair. She has two adorable children; Benjamin, with light brown hair and brown eyes, whose favourite activity is to romp around with his kindergarten friend, Christian Klein; and two year old Julia, with her mop of light brown hair and large brown eyes. Her active digestive system keeps Anna run off her feet. At least Anna's mother, Sylvia and her mother-in-law, Mathilda, are always at hand to help her out. They all live in Munich, as does Anna's best friend, Kathy, who has blonde hair and watery blue eyes, a husband, Jacob, and two children, Lisa and Mark. One day, Anna, who really enjoys novels by Clare DeBoevilla whose favourite perfume is Jil Sander, has a chance encounter with her old flame, Martin Zimmerman, and has a drink with him at the cafe Espresso Room. This encounter disrupts her humdrum life completely. Is Max going to lose his wife, whom he tenderly calls "my love", as a result? Last but not least, there is the annoying neighbour, Mrs Frank, hairdresser Paula, and the thorough Dr Hartman who play their roles in the story...