In “Nine Days” by Judy Lannon, the author writes with wit and compassion, about family, living and dying. “Nine Days” reads just like a memoir, but is literary fiction, and family fiction. The author describes her dramatic characters as complex and complicated. This is about a dysfunctional family that has to come together to deal with the fact that their narcissistic and vain mother is dying. Their parents were divorced and their father was an alcoholic.
One of the characters that is the most relatable is Sara, who is a kind-hearted and sensitive person that seeks approval, and avoids uncomfortable situations at work, in order to keep the peace. Sara doesn’t stand up for herself and feels that she is goes unnoticed. After handling an exhausting assignment for work, with no recognition or appreciation, Sara gets a phone call from her sister Jess, telling her their mother is in the hospital.
Logistically, Sara lives closest to her mother, and goes to see what is going on. Sara legally has the rights to help make decisions with the health care proxy. After a week of tests, they discover that the mother has advanced cancer. Now decisions how to care for an aging parent have to be made. Sara’s mom is a difficult patient, but has made her decision.
Sara and Jess contact the rest of the siblings, and grandchildren to come home. Each of the siblings have memorable experiences of family life, and their compelling mother. As they are dealing with their mother’s situation, they also realize that this is an opportunity to mend fences, seek forgiveness, and be able to move on and show growth.
I appreciate that the author discusses topics such as death with dignity, divorce, alcoholism, parenting, and self worth. I would highly recommend this powerful, emotional, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking novel to others.