One thing her great-grandparents Ilias and Maria introduce to my new novel, What’s Left, is the acknowledgement of how much of the family’s business success results from the members who’ve joined in freely, rather than been born into its tree.

Their daughter, Bella, certainly reinforces the triumph, as do Graham, Pia, Yin, and Cassia’s father a generation later.

So where will it go from there? Is there even really room for more? What if the new members don’t get along?


In recent years I learned that my own family history would have been much different if two of the wives had not conflicted with each other. Do you know of similar discord?

At one point, Cassia admits being a bit jealous of her brothers’ girlfriends. Have you ever felt the same?


Veiled head for insertion in a female statue. The nose, the back of the head, and a section near the right ear were affixed. Marble. 2nd century BCE. Archaeological Museum of Rhodes. (Photo by Jebulon via Wikimedia Commons.)

Cassia’s roots included inspiration like this.

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