Book Review: The Other Family by Loretta Nyhan

The Blurb:

From the bestselling author of Digging In comes a witty and moving novel about motherhood, courage, and finding true family.

With a dissolving marriage, strained finances, and her life in flux, Ally Anderson longs for normal. Her greatest concerns, though, are the health problems of her young daughter, Kylie. Symptoms point to a compromised immune system, but every doctor they’ve seen has a different theory. Then comes hope for some clarity.

It’s possible that Kylie’s illness is genetic, but Ally is adopted. A DNA test opens up an entirely new path. And where it leads is a surprise: to an aunt Ally never knew existed. She’s a little wild, very welcoming, and ready to share more of the family history than Ally ever imagined.

Coping with a sceptical soon-to-be-ex husband, weathering the cautions of her own resistant mother, and getting maddeningly close to the healing Kylie needs, Ally is determined to regain control of her life. This is her chance to embrace uncertainty and the beauty of family—both the one she was born into and the one she chose.

My Rating: ★★★★

My Review:

The Other Family was a light and entertaining read about some much deeper topics – autoimmune disease, chronic illness of a child, adoption, DNA, nature vs nurture, marital separation and family dynamics – non of which are truly covered in a lot of detail or with too much emotion.

Throughout reading this novel, I was torn between wanting more depth and enjoying the lightness and humour with which the author treated these issues. In the end I decided to just be entertained.

The characters were real. I could easily relate to Ally’s quest to find out what is happening with her daughter; her need to contact her biological family as she sought out the truth about her genetic makeup. I could felt the heartbreak and fear behind her adoptive mother’s anger as Ally started to spend more time with her aunt. I understood the potential for permanent fracturing of Ally’s relationships with both her mother, her ex-husband and even Kylie as Ally held tight to the hope that she would find a cure for her daughter.

I loved the inclusion of alternative therapies in dealing with Kylie’s disorder. Being a believer in the power of mediation, yoga and essential oils for health and wellbeing this was right up my alley (pardon the pun).

I also loved that one of the main characters is named Kylie….I can’t tell you how rare it is to see my name in a book.

In a sentence:

The Other Family is a light, entertaining read perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon reading.

With thanks to the publisher via NetGalley for this advanced copy in return for an honest review.

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