The novel The Moon and The Bonfires by Cesare Paveseis is told through the eyes of the narrator. Throughout the book, the narrator describes three different levels of experience, his present, his past, and his recent past. A central part of the narrator's experience deals with Sor Matteo’s three daughters, Sylvia, Irene and Santina.
The narrator's recollections of the time he worked on Sor Matteo's lands are not pleasant ones. Furthermore, the narrator has many recollections about Sor Matteo's three daughters and their unhappiness.
Irene, the oldest child, has blonde hair and is described as ladylike and meek. She is juxtaposed to Sylvia, who is described as dark-haired and flirtatious. Irene plays the piano and rides around with her boyfriend in a carriage, whereas Sylvia rides around on her boyfriend's motorcycle. Ultimately, Irene marries a man she does not love and is beat by him in their small flat.