When Joan Daly, the controlling matriarch of an upper-middle class New England family, discovers she is dying of lung cancer, she sets out to reconcile her dysfunctional relationships with her three children, her husband, and, along the way, her former best friend. After learning of her diagnosis, Joan decides not to pursue chemotherapy or any alternative treatment. The family’s destructive ways are offset by messy and often humorous attempts by Joan to set her children on the right course before she dies.
A young refugee of the Sudanese Civil War who wins a lottery for relocation to the United States with three other lost boys. Encountering the modern world for the first time, they develop an unlikely friendship with a brash American woman assigned to help them, but the young man struggles to adjust to this new life and his feelings of guilt about the brother he left behind.