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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Jan’s Families by Barb McIntyre is a story about 47-year-old Janice Lynne, or Jan, who is trying to adapt to her new life after the death of her husband, Ian. Jan travels to her sister’s house in Longueuil, Quebec as Nancy insists that Jan takes care of her. Nancy Jane is Jan’s fraternal twin sister. She used to be Jan’s tomboyish, robust sibling, lovingly known as Nan, who was good at telling stories and the one with the ideas that often got them into fun mischief. Everything changed when Nan was diagnosed with leukemia. She endured years of often painful, but eventually successful treatment. Fun-loving Nan became Nancy – a dependent, withdrawn stranger. For Jan, she lost her best friend and gained a weak, irritating sister that she never wanted.
Like Jan, Nancy is also a widow. She lost her husband, Bill, in a freak accident. This is a heart-warming story about sisters trying to bond once more and a woman trying to make a new life for herself after a life-changing event. This is a story about relationships and the title, Jan’s Families, is not just about blood-related relationships. I find myself sympathizing with Jan and understand her trepidation regarding her twin sister. On the other hand, Jan, Nancy, and other characters remind us about what people can achieve if they stay resilient and never give up on living. Overall, Barb McIntyre crafted a beautiful story and proves yet again that she definitely is a special gem in the writing industry.