Ronni Sunshine is a famous but mildly aging actress and the mother of three daughters. By her own admission, she failed as a parent, so much so that as adults, they have very little interaction with her or each other. In fact, her middle daughter, Meredith, moved abroad to London in order to put some serious distance between them. Now that Ronni is facing a serious illness, she wants to make things right with her daughters and bring them together at her home in Connecticut.
I found this story fascinating in how Ronni’s narcissism and self absorption manifested itself in each of her daughters. The eldest, Nell, became aloof and emotionally challenged, except when it came to her son. Her middle daughter, Meredith, who had weight issues all of her life, couldn’t have lower self esteem. The youngest, Lizzy, is most like Ronni in personality and temperament, also following a self destructive path with her marriage. The story shifts back and forth to each character during pivotal moments of time from childhood to present day. At times it was confusing but overall it was effective in creating vivid images of all of them and made for an interesting story.
Throughout most of the book, I didn’t find any of them likable but that slowly evolved to a healthy respect by the end. I cared what happened to them, even Ronni, and found myself pulling for them to find their way. Narrated by the author, the story was made even more distinctive by her performance, which isn’t always the case when the writer takes this on. The benefit, however, is the narrator knows the intended nuances and in this case, it worked. It’s my first by this author and now I’ll seek out other titles as I very much enjoyed this one.
- Release Date: June 6, 2017
- Narrator: Jane Green (author)
- Audio Length: 11 hours, 57 minutes
- Publisher: Penguin Audio