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Daughters for a Time

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  4,101 ratings  ·  300 reviews
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 ba
Paperback, 302 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Amazon Publishing (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,101 ratings  ·  300 reviews

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Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was surprisingly good. Not generally the type of literature I seek, but there was a depth to the story that drew me in. For anyone who has found that family is complicated or that the feelings they have for children sometimes supercede blood ties, this book will ring bells.
May 27, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a Kindle Daily Deal but I honestly don't remember why it caught my attention. I'm not sure of the exact definition of chick lit (I hate the label) but I think I can safely say this qualifies.

Not my usual cup of tea but compelling. Helen has a great, nice-guy husband (Tim) and they adore each other. Their courtship and early marriage are romantic and idyllic until Helen sinks further and further into depression and feelings of inadequacy because she can't concieve a child.

I can't relate
May 27, 2012 rated it liked it
SPOILER ALERT: Yes I cried. More than once. But why could Helen so easily carry a baby to term with Claire's egg through in-vitro? This begs the question as to why she just didn't try this earlier with her own or a donor egg. I also thought that Claire's death was rushed and forced. Claire didn't need to be sacrificd to save the story. Helen could have been developed in so many ways, but in order to help Helen fulfill a need she didn't know she had Claire had to die. Too contrived
Jo Anne B
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a book that would touch every woman. It is primarily about a woman forced to face her infertility and undergo adoption. But it is also about relationships between mother and daughter, father and daughter, sisters, aunt and niece, and husband and wife. It is also about the big C- cancer, infidelity, and death. Is that enough drama for one book? It worked though because it was depressing and real. There wasn't a lot of happiness in this book. Your heart felt heavy the whole time. You can't ...more
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
In many ways this well written book hit home, close to my heart. Like Helen Francis, I am no longer a daughter. I, too, suffered through many years of infertility and pregnancy losses (many more of each for me). I, too, adopted from China, though my babies didn't have any of the issues her little Sam had at first, nor did I carry around the fears she did.
The novel had some weaknesses, and it began to dwell in the land of Christian beliefs in the end, and really lost me there, but as a mother, I
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2012
Daughters for a Time is a family story of how our families are not always blood related but they are our families all the same. It's a story about how not all families are alike but they can still come together when needed. Sometimes family is all you have to get through the really, really tough times and it can be difficult to figure that out.I was very interested in this book because it tackled the idea and the decision to adopt. I personally think that adoption is really cool. There are so ma ...more
Wendy Hall
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a meaningful, impacting book. It details one woman's journey through infertility, adoption, working through past loss, and then grieving through a fresh loss. This was good for me to read as a foster parent and one I will use to complete and Independent Learner form for continuing education credit. Delving into the stress and strain that people have to go through with major loss, abandonment by parents, and raising a child who is not biologically their own is always helpful for us to fu ...more
Jun 24, 2012 rated it liked it
This was actually a good book. I found it while browsing my Kindle and figured I couldn't go too wrong, since it was fairly inexpensive.

Helen appears to be a typical infertile character at first, but there are layers to Helen that give her more depth than simply wanting a baby. Her grief rings true.

None of the characters ever seem to want for money, despite the fact that none of them appear to really work. Tim owns a busy, up-and-coming restaurant in D.C. and yet he can leave any time he wants?
Faith Spinks
I was torn on what rating to give this book. Yes, toward the end it was pretty gripping and I did get very emotionally involved in the story but could I go so far as to say that I 'really' liked it? This book was a slow starter. I kept reading because a book has to actually be bad for me to stop and it was an easy to read book. But I found Helen and Claire, the two sisters and two main characters, to be be quite frustrating, almost annoying at times. It was an interesting idea for a storyline bu ...more
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I was blessed to have a baby girl almost 3 years ago but have been dealing with secondary infertility for over 2 years. Most of my friends are working on starting or expanding their families and I'm constantly surprised at how many have struggled or are struggling with infertility. My husband and I have already discussed the possibility of adopting if it's not in the cards for us to have another biological child. Reading this book touched my heart and I spent several ...more
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Sadly this book just didn't work for me. It had all the ingredients that should have made it compelling (infertility, adoption, overseas travel, family, health) but after the first 40% I just wasn't bothered anymore.

Shame, as there were a couple of really touching moments but it was a bit too self-satisfied and the religious fervour kept creeping in. It all wrapped up too neatly at the end (despite a particularly sad chapter)that I am not sure why I bothered to finish it.

Everyone else loved it,
Stephanie Kelley
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a fantastic read. The subject matter is sad, but I should say that it wasn't over the top and it left me feeling uplifted, not morose.

This book spans all sorts of tough subjects, infertility, lose of a loved one, adoptions, child bearing etc etc etc. I could not put it down. I certainly hope Jennifer Handford writes more books! Loved this book.
Tanya Eby
I don't like to review books I'm going to narrate.

What I can say is that this is an emotionally tender story about mothers, daughters, sisters, and the ties that bind us. :) Looking forward to narrating it.
May 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
I like the story and there were some passages of really beautiful emotions and feelings. But I think it just was not a super well written novel. Even though the story was there, the story telling skills weren't. I just felt kind of 'eh' after finishing it. ...more
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chicklit
This is an emotional read. It's hard to not connect with the characters and to feel the emotions that are being described. Recommend this book if you are in the mood for a tear-jerker. ...more
Jane Donovan
May 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
I hate to say it but this book was soppy and boring. It was a struggle to finish!
Chloe (Always Booked)
I picked this book up on a whim because it was on my shelf and I am so glad I did. Was it perfect? No. But was it heartfelt, emotional and engaging from cover to cover? Yes!
This book is about Helen. She is a woman who is married and trying to have babies but nothing is working. She has fertility issues that stem from her egg quality and month after month it keeps not happening. She is so depressed she no longer works in the restaurant she and her husband own and she really does nothing all day
Cheryl Billingsley
Have Kleenex ready

Good book and a quick read. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Hard to put down. I actually had years in a few parts of the book.
Jul 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
"I. I. Me. I. Me. Me. Myself. My. I."

This is all that I read in this book. The whole story revolved around Helen - and NOT in a good way! I would have expected her to have grown out of her self-centred, privileged, wallowing character and emerged as a new strong character by the end, but the whole story just ended with her having another baby because she wanted one.

NONE, and I mean none, of the issues about adopting outside of the child's culture were dealt with. For example, why did her parents
Carol E.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
This book is hard for me to review. It kept my attention; I read it in a day and a half. I mostly liked it. There was something I didn't quite like and I'm not sure what it was. I think maybe I didn't like the main character (Helen) very much. Again, I'm not sure why. She just never drew out my sympathies. Otherwise, it was a good story. Two sisters were left parentless when the father left and shortly afterwards the mother died. They both (especially Helen) struggled with issues of abandonment ...more
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Feeling inadequate seems to be the theme of this woman's life after the abandonment of her father, the death of her mother a year later when she was 13 and then being brought up by her super efficient sister. And now she is facing the fact of infertility after 5 years of obsessively trying to get pregnant. After resisting every mention of adopting, she finally gives in to her loving husband and they manage to bring home an adorable little girl from China. Through the adoption and then facing her ...more
Feb 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: feminism, drama
This book was hit and miss for me, but a little more hit than miss. Cancer is a very personal topic for me, as it has hit my family more than once. Also, as someone who is unable to have children, I understood her struggle with infertility. What I disliked was some of the author's word choices. They seemed off and broke up the flow of the story. In addition to that, the God and miracle parts at the end seemed almost preachy. I don't think that's what she meant, but it was frustrating. My biggest ...more
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Don't get me wrong... Just because I listed this book on hold, does not mean it is not a good book. It is and I am anxious to continue reading it. Half way through and I really like it. A quick read, but not quick enough for me to be able to turn down a book from the library that I had a hold on. I will be back and finish this book - for certain!

Even setting it down to read another book in the middle of reading this book, did not affect my opinion of this book. Very easy to get caught up in the
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
The sensitivity with which Handford writes this story is amazing. The key character is complex and consumed with wanting a family but cannot get pregnant. While she has a wonderful marriage and a great sister whose daughter she cherishes, she feels that her life is incomplete and dismal without children of her own. Having lost her mother to ovarian cancer after her father abandoned the family, she is still grieving. Perhaps, she feels, this is her due. As the tale unfolds memories surface to hel ...more
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It is the story of relationships between mothers and daughters, sisters, and fathers. It was a heart pulling story of infertility and the painful struggles of Helen who wants a child more than anything. It is also the story of the relationship between Helen and her sister Claire who lost their mother to ovarien cancer. Claire raises Helen after the mother's death. It also brings in the charater of Larry, their father, who left his daughters when their mother/his wife was dying ...more
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable read. It follows the story of a young couple as they struggle with infertility, finally decide upon adoption, and create a family. And while it isn't the family that Helen initially envisioned for herself, it's the family that she was meant to have. Some parts of the book definitely touched me more than others, from a personal experience level. I did find some of the food descriptions to be a little too much at some points though, or maybe I'm just jealous that I can't just ...more
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Helen has a lot of pain in her background. Her Mom died young and her Dad left just when she and her sister needed him most. Claire, her sister, and she are very close and both want to have children. It’s easy for Claire but infertility plagues Helen. Helen has to decide, with her husband Tim’s encouragement, if adoption is right for them. The story turns from loss into the incredible story of adopting from China. (This part was personally very interesting for me as I have a niece adopted from C ...more
Dec 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
To be fair, I don't think i'm the demographic for this book. (And probably trying to explain the demographic that I think would enjoy it would get me lambasted) So, let's leave it at this: I couldn't get 1/3 through this book because I thought it was a little sappy without good reason, and overly assumptive that every woman feels "incomplete" without a baby/family. If you don't ascribe to this, it's kind of a pointless ride. I'm not claiming baby opinions either way (heck, I like 'em), but this ...more
Laura (Blackbird Scraps)
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
When I was on chapter two of this book, I said to my husband "I think this one is going to wind up on my 'can't get into it' shelf". My personal rule is give a book 5 chapters and if I'm not into it, then I move on to the next book. Well I'm SO glad I stuck this one out because it wound up being a great read.
I didn't find the main character, Helen, to be likeable at all in the beginning, but my opinion quickly changed. I'm an only child but I have five, going on six kids of my own. Books that sh
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a sad story with a positive message, it was not depressing. The characters each handled death in different ways. It effects the rest of their lives. They learn and grow, so it isn't all sad. There are several other issues they deal with, such as an absentee father and infertility.

I enjoyed the book even though it dealt with such heavy subjects because the author handled them in such a realistic manner. She also balanced it with positive attitudes from some of the characters. Claire was
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A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Jennifer Handford now lives in the Washington, DC, area with her husband and three children. One of three first-place finalists in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest in 2010, she published her first novel, DAUGHTERS FOR A TIME, in 2012. People magazine hailed it as “a wrenching, resonant debut about infertility, cancer and adoption. Grab your hankies.” In 201 ...more

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87 likes · 7 comments
“Maybe heartache was more normal than the absence of it.” 15 likes
“In so many ways,” I tried to explain. “I feel repaired. The old wounds feel repaired, anyway. As if what was taken has been returned. I don’t get to be my mother’s daughter ever again. But I get to be a mother” 2 likes
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