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Saturday, June 16, 2012

"Daughters for a Time"


by Jennifer Handford, AF, 2012, 302p, rating=5
Source: received paperback copy from publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Feelings of abandonment fill Helen Francis at a too-young age when her mother dies and her father walks out. Left in the care of her older sister, Claire, she moves on but never truly heals. Now thirty-five and married, Helen is desperate to start a family of her own. After four unsuccessful years of trying to become pregnant, Helen accepts the idea of adoption.

When her baby is finally in her arms, Helen experiences true exaltation. But she is quickly blindsided with the worst possible news: Claire has cancer. Helen's wounds are again torn open as she balances the bliss of a new daughter with the grief of a dying sister. (Goodreads)

I sobbed hard and often.  The kind of sobbing that left me short of breath.  It wasn't tears of pity but of empathy.  I was feeling the ache that Helen's character was going through as I read her account of her struggles with infertility.  I rejoiced with her when she was able to successfully adopt a daughter.  Then I anguished again with her when she heard the news that her six-year-older sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  The very sister that raised her since fourteen years of age after the loss of their mother and a father that left them to fend for themselves.  Now, at thirty-five, Helen weighed emotions of joy and despair.  In the process, she fights to claim a hopeful future for her daughter and niece.

This novel was more than the issue of infertility or it would have been a very depressing read.  Instead, it was more about family, particularly mother-daughter and sister-sister relationships.  Central to the success of understanding the bonds was Claire, who I would vote as Sister of the Year.  Claire, epitomizesd the role of a stand out woman.  She was strong, sharp, and nurturing.  It was because of her that Helen turned out to be a solid woman as well.  I love Claire.  She made the book for me!

Beautiful, beautiful love story.  It will genuinely touch your heart.

On a personal note, it is just so heartbreaking to hear of couples' struggles with infertility.  My best friend is going through it right now and at times I can see the contemplation in her eyes when she sees me, Fertile Myrtle, and my children.  Her battle especially desparate because of her age and being diabetic.  I don't wholly understand her pain but I do ache when she aches.  I'm completely useless for anything else!  Ohhh...

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like such an emotional read, a book I'd have to be in the right frame of mind to even pick up.

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  2. Oh, this definitely sounds sob-worthy. What a difficult topic--I don't know if I could make my way all the way through it! Excellent review.

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  3. Very emotional indeed Tracy.

    Aw, thanks Mary! --Like that term, sob-worthy ..don't be surprised if you see that in my future reviews. :)

    You're welcome Fi-chan.

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Thank you for taking the time to write a comment. You are fabulous! :)

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