Irises is the story of two sisters who have just experienced the sudden death of their domineering preacher father. He had been keeping their mother, who is in a permanent vegetative state, alive via tubes in their home. When they realize that they have run out of money and they must leave their home to make room for the new preacher, the girls are faced with some very touchy decisions. Kate feels her mother would rather be let go than be kept alive through feeding tubes, while Mary knows that her religious father would view this as a terrible sin. They question the advice the new pastor gives them because he has something to gain in all of this. But then again, so do they. Is it right to "kill" their mom so Mary can pursue her art and Kate can pursue her dream of attending Stanford? The sisters grapple with these decisions, but ultimately come to one that they both can make peace with. There is no language in this book. Kate remembers a sexual experience with her boyfriend (although they did not have intercourse) and she kisses the new pastor.