Born Evelyn Rockwell, she hails from the distant city of Port Manteau. She went to college there, double-majoring in geophysics and marine biology, and was married to historian and diplomat Morris Brunswick III. They had one daughter, Rose Brunswick. After her husband was killed in an alleged maritime accident, Evelyn and Rose came to Meadowvale to start over. There, Evelyn quickly became known as the town grump. She seemed to enjoy yelling at anyone who dared step on her lawn, and annoyed everyone with her constant bragging. Her list of enemies was long, including Benjamin Long, Christy Stratton, garden club ringleader Tiffany Zarubin, and her next-door neighbor, Garth Walker (who thought she was a communist spy.) The only person she could get along with was an egnimatic gypsy named Rebecca Fairchild. Rose and Rebecca were the only ones who saw the other side of her: a bitter, lonely woman who was harder on herself than anyone else.
Evelyn started working for an ambassador who had been a confidant of her late husband. Officially, she was a science attaché, but her real job was to do all the ambassador's dirty work. This would lead her to many adventures, from crawling through caves to chasing pirates on the open sea. At times her expeditions would take her away from home for weeks at a time, so Rose learned to take care of herself early on. On one trip, while pursuing a drug lord in his island hideout, she stumbled into a cave and found a legendary golden idol which was rumored to have magic powers. Rebecca, who claimed to have psychic senses, examined the statue and declared that it did contain a powerful enchantment which would bring good luck. Evelyn didn't believe her, but the idol became a permanent decoration in her bedroom nonetheless.
Through the ambassador, she continued to expand her list of contacts. There were plenty of officials who would pay good money to have "odd jobs" taken care of quietly. But she got into trouble when she tangled with a criminal organization that she believed was the real reason for her husband's death. It started when Special Agent Allyn Thomason asked for her help in recovering documents from a shipwreck off the coast of Evelyn's old hometown. The ship had belonged to a foreign corporation known as Sakda Enterprises, which Thomason believed was a front for an international smuggling ring. They were taken to the wreck site by a boat captain named Peter Sims, who Evelyn found attractive. Evelyn dove down and retrieved the documents, but when she returned to the surface, Thomason had been captured by a gang of pirates. Sims was one of them, and had betrayed them. This group Evelyn knew well: sixteen years ago their vessel had been sighted near the wreck of the Madrigal, the ship her husband had died on.
Evelyn escaped, and the SFBI later sent her to meet Peter Sims and negotiate Thomason's release. He demanded $100,000 for the agent's life. She met him in an abandoned warehouse to make the exchange. After she was released, Thomason asked Evelyn for the documents... and destroyed them. Too late, Evelyn realized that Thomason was involved with the "pirates," who were in fact the Sakda smuggling ring, and had used her to recover evidence that would have incriminated them. Sims stopped her from killing Evelyn, reasoning that they could probably get more ransom money for her. They locked her in their boat and took off. Evelyn rigged up a bomb from a brick of explosives left over from breaking into the shipwreck, and planned to blow them all out of the water. But at the last second, Peter Sims appeared and said he was going to help her escape. Evelyn had already set the bomb and didn't have time to question his motives. They escaped on a lifeboat just before the boat exploded. However, Thomason saw them and jumped into the lifeboat as well. Evelyn knocked her unconscious, and she and Peter took her back to shore, where they turned her over to the police. Evelyn was thoroughly puzzled but grateful to Peter for saving her. He departed without a word of explanation.
When the police arrived, Thomason tried to claim that Evelyn and Peter were part of the smuggling ring and had tried to kill her when she started to investigate them. She was supported by the fact that Peter had, in fact, held her hostage and Evelyn had blown up her boat and assaulted her. It was the agent's word against a pirate and a mercenary, and things didn't look good for Evelyn. Thomason was released and she was arrested instead. But help arrived from an unexpected place: SCIA Agent Livia Walker, who had been working undercover on the case all along. She revealed that Peter was actually a mole who had been helping them track the pirates for years, and exposed Thomason's corruption. A warrant was put out for Thomason's arrest, but she had already fled the country. She left behind a letter for Evelyn vowing revenge.
Not long after, Peter turned up in Meadowvale. Since his cover was blown, he had a new assignment, the details of which he was not allowed to disclose. He moved into a house down the street from Evelyn, and they became good friends. Evelyn reached a slight reconciliation with the Walker family since Livia had helped clear her name, and Garth grudgingly admitted that he had misjudged her. Rose and the Walkers' daughter Ann got along well, which helped smooth things over between them.
After that incident, life was quiet for a while. Rose graduated and went off to college. To Evelyn's delight, she made the dean's list for her first two semesters. But at the start of her sophomore year, Rose was electrocuted while trying to repair a broken stereo and nearly died. She fell into a coma and had to be placed on life support. Everyone in Meadowvale thought Rose was dead. Evelyn was lonely, scared, and uncertain about her daughter's future. Suddenly, her life seemed very empty. She still had Rebecca as a friend and occasional support, but the gypsy woman seemed to appear and disappear at her convenience and nobody else's. Evelyn found an unexpected source of strength in her hairstylist Elle Zhang, who offered her a shoulder to cry on or (more often) an ear to vent. She also befriended and adopted a stray cat named Moonshine, who would be her companion for the next twenty years. But she still had only a handful of friends and many enemies.
One night, a masked assassin broke into Evelyn's house. She fought him off and called the police, but he fled the scene before they could arrest him. Though she couldn't prove it, she suspected he had been hired by Allyn Thomason to kill her. Terrified and not wanting to be alone, she ran to Peter's house. He comforted her, and they ended up making love.
For a while, Evelyn was happy again. She even thought she might marry Peter some day. But she struggled with guilt as she wondered whether she had been attracted to him before she knew he wasn't involved in her husband's death. She also started to worry that if they became committed he would pressure her to take Rose off of life support, since Rose was her daughter with another man. Elle and Rebecca were the only ones who knew Rose was alive, so she swore them to secrecy. She worried that Livia would be angry if she found out, since Livia's daughter Ann was distraught over Rose's death to the point that she nearly dropped out of school. The secret drove a rift between them just when they were starting to be friends.
Then Evelyn learned she was pregnant with Peter's child. He said he would marry her and support their family, but she told him she wasn't ready. Peter was secretly relieved. Evelyn had a girl, who she named Salvia. On the day the baby was christened, Rebecca gave Evelyn a golden lamp, which she said would help her in times of trouble. After Salvia was born, Evelyn mellowed considerably. She tried to be nicer to Livia and even Garth. But most of her time was spent taking care of the baby, and as a result she and Peter started to drift apart. He came over to visit Salvia a couple of times, but never really got close to his daughter.
For a while, Evelyn's routine was uneventful other than teaching Salvia to walk and talk. She became good friends with Amin Simms, Armando Cox, Marylena Hamilton, and Prof. Jasmyn Carlson. She also discovered new interest in building things, cooking, and fitness. Her body was in tip-top shape, she was well-off financially, and she was a world reknowned adventurer. Garth Walker admitted a grudging admiration for her, to which she replied that their rivalry had driven her to succeed. From then on, they were friends--and it was good timing, since they were about to become family.
The next major upset in Evelyn's life came when seventeen-year-old Salvia revealed that she was pregnant, and the father was none other than Sebastian Walker. Sebastian was joining the military and was about to leave for boot camp, while Salvia had plans to start college in the fall. Garth Walker was furious and wouldn't even speak to his son, while Livia was pressuring them to abandon their plans for the future, get married, and settle down right away. The young couple weren't sure what to do, until Evelyn stepped in. She sat them down for a stern lecture, and made Sebastian swear on his life that he would stay around to take care of Salvia and their baby (complete with colorful descriptions of what she would do to him if he didn't.) Then she suggested that Salvia go on to college the spring after the baby was born, leaving him with Evelyn. Sebastian would come to live with her once he returned, and they would raise the child together until Salvia graduated. It was an unusual solution to say the least, but Salvia and Sebastian agreed to give it a try, and in time, they managed to persuade Livia and Garth.
Salvia had a baby boy, Nathan Walker-Brunswick. That fall, she was off to college and Sebastian moved in with Evelyn. Since she had plenty of savings, Evelyn decided it was time to leave her adventuring days behind. Her grandson needed her support, and the life she had led up to this point was too dangerous. But she swore to get revenge on Allyn Thomason someday.
Spring brought another upheaval, this time a joyous one: Rose awakened from her coma. Ann Futa claimed her mystic herbal treatments were responsible for Rose's miraculous recovery, while the docters and Rose's friends offered various other explanations. But whatever really happened that night, the event changed Evelyn's outlook on life. All the money in the world had not been enough to bring her daughter back to her. A power greater than herself was at work here, a mystery that could not be bought or sold. Knowledge and wisdom, she decided, were the keys to true power in this world.
Rose and Salvia breezed through college, making the dean's list nearly every quarter. Rose graduated Magna Cum Laude, and one day introduced Evelyn to her new boyfriend, Darren LeTourneau.
Evelyn, with her new enthusiasm for learning, started taking dance lessons and found a job in a science lab, where promotions came easily for her thanks to her high intellect. She adopted another cat from a shelter and named her Dawn. Dawn became a companion to Moonshine, and not long after the two would have a pair of kittens, Cloud and Raine. Meanwhile, Evelyn became a voracious reader and joined the local cooking and chess clubs. During this time she discovered a sense of peace she had not felt for her entire life.