What do you when you’re told you’ve got terminal cancer at 50? Take up crochet, convert to religion and bow out gracefully? Or ditch your husband of twenty years, abandon your demanding teens, leave your job, desert your bossy, octogenarian mother, cash in your life savings and take your two sisters on a luxury cruise? Courageous or ruthlessly selfish?
Ruby is gregarious, generous, sunny and funny – which is why all her friends, family and colleagues have turned up to celebrate her 50th birthday. But with four glasses of champers under her belt, Ruby’s speech doesn’t go exactly to plan. Instead of the witty and warm words guests are expecting, Ruby takes her moment in the spotlight to reveal what she really thinks of them all.
And, saving the best till last, Ruby lambasts her calculatingly cruel mother for spending her life playing her three daughters against each other. It’s a brilliantly funny speech but blisteringly brutal.
As the stunned gathering gawk at Ruby, the birthday girl concludes her seeringly honest, bravura monologue with the throw-away comment that she has terminal cancer. She has cashed out her life and plans on taking her two sisters cruising until she dies.
Only, do they really want to go with her? And, was it her medical results she read?