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The Other Family  By  cover art

The Other Family

By: Loretta Nyhan
Narrated by: Mary Robinette Kowal
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Publisher's Summary

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 skeptical 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.

©2020 Loretta Nyhan (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Loretta Nyhan has a knack for creating colorful characters with emotional depth and sharp wit. The Other Family is a heart-warming story of what it means to be family and the sacrifices we make for those we love. Nyhan weaves together sensitive and tender moments, delivering a flawless tale of faith, understanding, and perseverance.” (Rochelle Weinstein, USA Today best-selling author of Somebody’s Daughter)

“Through the eyes of Ally Anderson, a delightfully vulnerable and surprisingly powerful woman who will stop at nothing on her quest to cure her daughter’s mysterious illness, Nyhan redefines the traditional boundaries of family and reminds us that strength can be displayed in unexpected and unusual ways. I loved every minute of this book and its cast of lovable, eccentric people--don’t miss it!” (Kerry Anne King, bestselling author of Whisper Me This and Everything You Are)

“Ally Anderson has a problem any parent can relate to: she’ll do anything to save her daughter’s life. Kylie has severe allergies that seem to be getting worse. When Ally enlists the help of an unconventional doctor who has a protocol that might help, she finds more than she bargained for as she embarks on a journey that leads her to her birth family as well as a new philosophy of life and love. Written with Loretta Nyhan’s trademark humor and compassion, The Other Family is a beautiful, suspenseful story of hope standing up to fear in a world where we never have the control we wish for.” (Maddie Dawson, best-selling author of Matchmaking for Beginners)

What listeners say about The Other Family

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More than disappointed

What could have been an interesting subject for a novel (finding the source of a child’s chronic health problems) became so irritating because of the mother. I wondered how much she contributed to her daughter’s problems. Maybe it’s not the kind of subject you can treat humorously. The narrator of the audiobook contributed to the problem. The voices she used for the numerous characters were so exaggerated that it was like hearing someone reading to a group of children at story hour. Their voices ranged from “the big bad wolf” to the “poor helpless child”, not like voices you would hear in the real world.

2 people found this helpful

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The Other Family

The journey of trying to find a treatment/cure for an autoimmune disease of a young girl whose mother was adopted. During this journey Alley (the mom) finds her other family who embraces her wholeheartedly. Issues: autoimmune diseases, family acceptance and love.

1 person found this helpful

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Sweet story about family

This was a sweet story about family, biological or otherwise. It touched on some alternative medicine for allergy treatments which I found interesting as I have a friend who went through some similar treatments with success. While the story centered around the situation with the daughter’s allergies, it really touched on friendship, trust in others as well as yourself, and the bond that is family. I would recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Thoughtful!

Thoughtful. As a mom whose child has experienced much of this it hit so close to home! It made me laugh and cry. From start to finish I was hooked!

1 person found this helpful

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It was fair

The premise of the story was pretty good, but so much annoyed me about it.
1. I prefer my feel good stories to not have a political agenda. This one was full of PC propaganda and innuendos.
2. The divorce was a joke. Their fights were more disagreements, I felt like it was more because things got hard & they didn’t want to work at it. It also never talked about how devastating divorce is on kids. Their daughter just floated around like it was the most normal thing in the world.
3. The adoptive mother was completely selfish. She never once considered what her daughter may feel about finding her blood family and did nothing but lay on the undeserved guilt.
Ultimately, this book was full of self-righteous, selfish people. The only character that I really liked was the aunt & uncle.

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🥰🥰🥰

I absolutely loved this book!! So many lessons on love, patience and understanding! Healing on so many levels!!

1 person found this helpful

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Realistic DNA outcome

Interesting storytelling about how DNA testing doesn’t always have life-shattering or overdramatic changes that create false narratives on the bounds of what we call family. In this case, DNA testing is initially done purely to help with medical research into allergies with a side of curiosity into the identity of actual birth parents. Thankfully, this was done creatively where the info has an equal balance of realistic expectations and realistic outcomes.

Tho the daughter, Kylie, I did not believe a kid of her age would act so mature or level headed about her medical problems.

A lighthearted and worthwhile story that I feel is one of the better stories about DNA testing scenarios.

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Very good

Sometimes you wonder how someone can write with such realistic details. It was an everyday story of someone’s everyday life and it worked. The narrator did an awesome job. All the characters knew their parts. Enjoyed very much.

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Like staring at a bad car accident!

I kept expecting it to get better. It didn't! What a waste of time! I should have given up when my instincts told me it was going to be a stinker! If I could have given it a zero star, I would have, both for the story and narration! Most of the characters were self-absorbed, like 'have they made provisions for a vegan choice?'!!! The world does not NEED to cater to the vast minority!

And the voices were unbelievably irritating much of the time. There were times when Kylie was so exaggeratedly whiney that I just wanted to cover my ears! Also, for a child with such an advanced vocabulary and jaded sense of martyrdom, she vacillated ridiculously from sounding way too precocious to sounding like a toddler! Very inconsistent! Another reviewer was exactly right, that part of the problem probably emanated from the mother!

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Maudlin & Repetitive & Maudlin & Repetitive

I LOVED Digging In, so I was really disappointed with this book. The main character was whiney, so the narrator may have done the best she could with the material she was given. The character also makes sweeping declarative statements about parenting a child who is chronically and sometimes critically ill. Having been one of those parents, I don't find to be particularly accurate. I recommend taking a pass on this book, and getting Digging In if you haven't already heard it.