In Book One, Iris and Lily are the lovably ingenuous youngest daughters in a family of 14, starving for attention as they struggle to survive in the chaotic Capotosti household. The explosive rage of Carlo, their hot-blooded father; the submissiveness of Betty, their overwhelmed mother; the abuse meted out by half a dozen domineering brothers; the inaccessible ken of their older sisters; all join forces to make the home a minefield of emotional pitfalls for the two neglected girls, whose natural exuberance is squelched by the fear of punishment and the dictates of Catholicism.
As Iris and Lily scrape their way through puberty to adolescence, outside forces begin driving a wedge between them. The favoritism of an aunt, the shame of sexual abuse, the socioeconomic shifts and eruption of the women's movement of the '70s become the catalysts that lead to the disintegration of what little security was once offered by their family. Desperate for love, Iris and Lily naively take refuge in marriages that push them worlds apart, altering their relationship as sisters dramatically.
Told in alternating chapters in the voices of the two protagonists, sprinkled with episodes of comedy and tragedy that will make you laugh and cry, this is the story of every woman who has memories of what it is like to be a little girl, then a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, filled with hope and expectations.
Iris & Lily: Book One is the first in a three-volume series.