Book Review, Death, Family Relationships, PR by the Book

Finding Frances by Janice M. Van Dyck

Frances Baldwin is resigned to die.  She has been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure and her quality of life is diminishing, but convincing her family to let her go is an uphill battle.  Her husband Bill is angry and in denial, her youngest son Randy doesn’t want any part of it, her daughter Sugar is confused at her mother’s decision, and her eldest son, William, is supposed to be her ally in convincing everyone to let her die including her doctor.  There are bits of humor in the book and there is a lot about the ups and downs of family relationships and the tough decisions that had to be made.

Frances is a respected, very candid, and stubborn matriarch of the Baldwin family and she gives insight on how it feels to be ready to die.  A very real look at a person’s right to choose.

This book is based on the author’s true events and shows how the love of family brings everyone together at a crucial moment.   I could relate to this story by my own experience of losing my father.  He was stubborn, but never lost his sense of humor.  He wanted to go and no amount of pleading from his family would change his mind.  Blessedly, he went in his sleep.

Frances’ son, William, said it eloquently, “Love brings peace to the living and the dying; it tears down the walls of status and position, it transcends roles and past transgressions.”  The book is available at

Thank you to Ms. Van Dyck and PR by the Book for giving me the opportunity to review this book.