Lily and Vivian Charles
Lily (Swoosie Kurtz) and Vivian Charles (Ellen Greene/Mackenzie Smith) are two sisters, Lily being several years older, who lived with Charlotte as her aunts.
Beginning in their teen years, the girls were an internationally famous synchronized swimming duo called the "Darling Mermaid Darlings." They adopted their surname in adulthood when their mother married Charles Charles's father. Both sisters were also romantically linked to Charles; Vivian was engaged to him while Lily had an affair with him which led to Charlotte's birth. To keep the secret of her affair from Vivian, Lily spent her pregnancy at a convent, telling Vivian she was in France. Later she also kept the secret from Charlotte, who believed Lily is only her aunt. (Charlotte believed her mother was a woman named Susan who died in childbirth.) Vivian knew that Charles had cheated on her, but not with whom.
They gave up their swimming career after Lily lost her right eye while cleaning a litter box, and gradually became shut-ins. After Charles Charles's death, they became Charlotte's guardians. As their social phobias progressed, Charlotte stayed at home in order to take care of them. After Charlotte's murder, Lily and Vivian struggle to live on their own. After she became alive again, Charlotte is unable to see Lily and Vivian, because Ned doesn't want his secret gift known. Charlotte, however, still continued to care for them by sending pies from The Pie Hole with mood enhancers baked into the crust. Her ultimate goal is to inspire Lily and Vivian to overcome their social phobias and restart their synchronized swimming careers. Lily and Vivian become close friends with Olive Snook who delivers the pies to their Coeur d'Coeur address which is outside the regular delivery zone. The sisters are also acquainted with Ned and Emerson, who pay them occasional visits.
Both sisters are agoraphobic, bird lovers, and connoisseurs of fine cheese. They also suffer from separation anxiety, as demonstrated in their unusual practice of stuffing their pet birds after they die. Vivian also confesses to Olive that she sometimes puts pillows in Charlotte's bed and pretends she is sleeping. Their personalities also significantly contrast, with Vivian being the hopeful, albeit naive sister, while Lily is the perpetual pessimist and is more confrontational. Lily suffers from severe coulrophobia (fear of clowns) and is a heavy drinker. Their names also reference their personalities as well as the life and death theme of the series; "Vivian" meaning "alive" while "Lily" references the flower often associated with funerals.
Famous quotes containing the words lily and and/or lily:
“I am haunted by numberless islands, many a Danaan shore,
Where Time would surely forget us, and Sorrow come near us no more;
Soon far from the rose and the lily and fret of the flames would we be,
Were we only white birds, my beloved, buoyed out on the foam of the sea!”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)
“Rejoice with the day lily for it is born for a day to live by the mailbox and glorify the roadside”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)