In Daughters for a Time, a Washington, D.C.-based power couple find themselves exploring infertility, the world of adoption and the nature of the bond between parents and children. Main character Helen Francis's childhood was anything but ideal. Her mother died when she was in high school and her father left, leaving her in the care of her adoring older sister, Claire. Now thirty-five and happily married, Helen is eager to start a family of her own, to make her family what she never had. But after four years of unsuccessful attempts and the difficulty of dealing with infertility, she starts to consider adoption. After over a year of interviews and applications, Helen and her husband are overjoyed to pick-up their new daughter in China. Life is finally coming into place for Helen, until she is blindsided with the worst possible news: her beloved sister Claire has cancer. Helen’s wounds are again torn open as she balances the joy of a new daughter with the grief of a dying sister. Poignant, penetrating, and full of raw emotional power, it's a heart-wrenching tale of a woman who must face the joys and sorrows of life as she struggles to find her place as a mother, sister, daughter, and wife.
Daughters for a Time by
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Target audience: Adult fiction
Keywords: infertility, adoption, cancer, loss of parent, estranged parent, marriage
Format read: ARC from Little Bird Publicity (Thanks!)
In Daughters for a Time, Jennifer Handford handles that crushing heartbreak with sensitivity and raw emotion. Though I know the book is a work of fiction, Handford’s own experience with adoption elevated the book to a whole new level of realism. There were moments I was so lost in the story I forgot I wasn’t reading a memoir.
Though Daughters for a Time focuses on the bond between women as sisters, as mothers and daughters, and as friends, it lacked a bit of male perspective in some areas. For a long time, I wondered if Claire was even married. And Helen’s husband was such a great character too but he felt absent from scenes when I knew he was standing there, sharing the moment… except he was silenced. A little more testosterone would have balanced out many emotions in the story and made it even more relatable. I wanted Handford to dig deeper.
|Title: Daughters for a Time|
Author(s): Jennifer Handford
ISBN: 1-68324-004-9 / 978-1-68324-004-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Center Point Pub
Availability: Amazon Amazon UK Amazon CA