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JANEY'S GIRL by Gayle Friesen


by Gayle Friesen

Age Range: 11 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 1-55074-461-5
Publisher: Kids Can

Friesen’s first novel is a hymn to the power of forgiveness. Claire, 14, and her mother return to the small town Janey left before Claire’s birth and hasn’t visited since. Preparing to meet the grandmother she’s never known, Claire hopes she’ll find answers to old family questions: why Janey hated her father so much that she refused to attend his funeral a year ago; why no one will talk about Claire’s father, who apparently never made any attempt to see her or her mother; why Janey left town so precipitously all those years ago with Claire; what’s kept her away. But Gran is as tight-lipped as Janey. Claire meets Jamie, the young, leukemia-stricken son of Harold MacGregor (Mac), and instantly likes them both. Bright, charming Jamie turns out to be her half-brother, while Mac is Claire’s long-absent father. It’s no happy reunion; Jamie needs a bone marrow transplant, but has found no match—until Claire. Claire’s difficult decisions about her life, and her attempts to bring the old family secrets into the light, are balanced by the humor and warmth in the dialogue and some fine, lovingly realized characters. (Fiction. 11-14)