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Reviewed by Karen Hesson for Readers' Favorite
Counting Heartbeats by Janet Frnzyan is the story of a close-knit family that struggles through a beloved father’s ALS diagnosis and treatment. The story, told by his adult daughter Jessica, follows her as she tries to carve out some semblance of a normal love life and career while all of this is happening. It is based on a true story, and that shines through clearly on every page. I could call it “raw” and “beautiful,” but those words don’t do it justice. I loved it.
The family in Counting Heartbeats immediately drew me in, and I loved every single member. Jess’s dad was perfect, and I didn’t want to accept his fate any more than she did. I loved her strong patient mother, her brother, her cousins, and her best friend. I appreciated the realness and flaws of each character and didn’t hold any of their shortcomings against them. They all did the best they could, the same that anyone would have done in their situation. Counting Heartbeats made me sob over my coffee, without a doubt, but it was also sprinkled with my favorite kind of dry humor. The writing was clear and pointed, carrying me through the story at the perfect pace. Janet Frnzyan managed to convey the hope, stress, fear, love, and pain that we all experience in the face of tragedy. Counting Heartbeats is a story that will stay with me and remind me to hold my loved ones close. Thank you, Janet, for being willing to share it with the world.