Notes on “Dear Irené”:
Newtown, CT, was the location of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shootings.
I found the bashert reference in Jean Meltzer's The Matzah Ball; it struck me as being so Goren and Eames:
Gladys Taber's property, Stillmeadow Farm, is part of a land trust along with the Phillips Farm Nature Preserve in Southbury, CT.
I have a cousin Irene who was adopted as a small child, she is of French-Canadian descent, and my dad used to sing "Goodnight Irene" to her all the time.
Think of Sister Rosamund as a cross between Sister Julienne and Sister Monica Joan on Call the Midwife.