Hollywood actress Ronni Sunshine admits she wasn’t a good mother to her three daughters but she summons them home to help her end her life before a terminal illness takes its toll. None of the sisters are particularly close to each other or their mother but do reluctantly return home. Oldest daughter Nell has found her passion managing a farm but has not had a serious relationship since she broke up with the father of her now-adult son. Meredith moved to London to get away from her mother’s putdowns and now has a fiance no one likes – maybe not even Meredith. And the spoilt youngest daughter, Lizzy, has made a name for herself running a successful catering company in New York but feels that, like her mother, she too lacks any sort of maternal instincts.
This story is all about a dysfunctional family and forgiveness. It focuses more on the sisters and their issues and doesn’t get particularly melancholy about Ronni’s impending death. In fact as a character, Ronni stays more off-stage than on, even though her failings as a mother fuel the storyline. Well worth a read.
The Sunshine Sisters, by Jane Green, is about an estranged family facing loss. The synopsis says: "It was never easy, being one of Ronni Sunshine's daughters. Publicly, she is the glamorous, successful, dramatic Hollywood actress. Privately, she is self-absorbed, angry, and a disinterested, narcissistic mother. Now in her seventies, Ronni has had strange symptoms for a while, but has refused to believe her diagnosis: she has ALS, a degenerative motor neuron disease. There is no cure.
Ronni's three adult daughters - Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy - are largely estranged, both from her, and from each other. All are going through crises of their own. But Ronni is adamant that they must come home, and help her take her own life. As their mother's illness draws them together to confront old jealousies and secret fears, they discover that blood might be thicker than water after all ..." The Sunshine Sisters is out in June 2017.