For Iris, 16, no sooner does the door close behind her mother and cousin Ellie, off on a 10-day cruise, than things spin out of control. First of all, how is Iris going to watch Ellie's two young children when she's been drafted by Xiang Lo Pizza's bowling team? That minor dilemma quickly degenerates into a series of hilarious misadventures that leave her dazedly wondering how she's going to explain a broken foot (earned defending her date in a skeevy pool parlor), the two young men working on a broken-down hearse in the garage, the vandalized family car, swaddled in sheets and parked out front, or Zelma, a teenage con-artist-in-training who has become an unwelcome and all-toofrequent visitor. A fine athlete, auto mechanic, and straight-A student with a taste for poetry, philosophy, and the quiet life, Iris makes a memorable, utterly engaging narrator, and she comes with a supporting cast that more than keeps up with her. She deals creatively with each contretemps and, as a reward, meets Byron, a combination of ""biker, Michelangelo sculpture, and Chippendale dancer"" who is a total soulmate. Keller (Desdemona Moves On, 1992, not reviewed, etc.) leaves the two planning to take in a museum--or maybe a track meet--together. Inspired.