Friday, April 13, 2012

Daughters For A Time-Jennifer Handford

Daughters For A Time

Jennifer Handford

Amazon Publishing, Apr 24 2012, $14.95

ISBN: 9781612182926

In Washington DC, Tim and Helen Francis own the Harvest restaurant. Thirty-five years old Helen desperately wants a child, but is depressed over never becoming pregnant. She has dreamed a child would make her complete ever since her mom died when she was fourteen years old and her dad Larry walked out on her and her twenty years old sister Claire; she even named her kid Stephanie. Whereas Claire wants nothing to do with their dad, Helen is more understanding that he let his grief cost him his children.

Though she knows she should not, she envies Claire who is a great mother, having learned when she took on her teenage kid sister, to her three years old daughter Maura. Helen reluctantly agrees with Tim that they should adopt. They go to China where they adopt Sammy. Her euphoria ends when she learns Claire has cancer.

Daughters for a Time is a profound look at an extended family stunned by a mother having died from cancer and daughter dying from cancer. The grief is palatable as the surviving loved ones struggle with their loss. For Larry and Helen this a double whammy while she also worries that she inherited the offending gene; Claire and her spouse Ross feels the same concern for Maura. Ross sums it up when he tells Helen his dad died when he was five and he remembers little about him except what his mom mentions; his grief is Maura will share that sense of inadequacy while his sister-in-law says they must never let that happen. Readers will appreciate this well written character study as grief is customized but a loving family helps each other move on.

Harriet Klausner

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