Gram (Lil Bradley Krauss)
Gram Lil Bradley Krauss), the “queen of Persia” of the title. Having grown up learning to work hard (her mother having died when she was a teenager and her father having been killed in the oilfields of Texas seeking his fortune), she married Jacob Krauss and gave birth to seven children (two sons, stillborn), rearing five daughters (May, Grace, Elinor, Rachel, and Libby). Her marriage became a source of bitterness because Jacob, not acknowledging his desire for her, became an abusive alcoholic.
Grace, the second of Lil’s daughters, the one whom Gram counts on to work with her whenever she is on the farm. Grace earned a teaching degree and then married Neil against her mother’s wishes. Grace and her daughters, Anne and Katie, spend most of their time on Lil’s farm, not living with Neil. Putting her faith in her sister Elinor’s Christian Science beliefs, Grace struggles against her cancer for nearly two years, eventually dying in the big farmhouse.
Neil, Grace’s husband, a writer. Working as a salesman, he never earns enough money to buy a home without his mother-in-law’s help. He is the spirit of mischief with Anne and Katie and a constant antagonist to Lil, who blames him for Grace’s cancer coming back after surgery.
Elinor, the daughter who “gets away.” the family sacrificed to provide her...
(The entire section is 495 words.)