When Susannah picks Teddy, a former lover, to father her child, her family expels her. Thirteen years later Susannah returns with daughter Lizzie for her father's funeral and a reacquaintanceship with her mother and sister, while Teddy's unsettled life also changes.
Macleans: "As in her previous work, the author...has made her fictional beat the tortuous politics of the family. The narrator of Family News describes that coverage as 'battle reportage: dispatches from the field of domestic flare-ups' - an apt illustration of the wry, unsentimental quality of the book itself."
Hungry Mind Review: "Family News is a wise, sad, funny, poignant novel. It probes the deepest recesses of family love, its sustaining successes and its painful and ominous failures."
Edmonton Journal: "A timely and compelling study of a modern, urban single-parent family."
Books in Canada: "Family News is a detailed, slowly told story...and the writing is heartfelt and unadorned."
Winnipeg Free Press: "Family News is topical, contemporary, witty, full of marvellous insight into the way people live, the demands and expectations and assumptions of families."
Vancouver Sun: "Family News has a lot to tell us about the nature of families and their power over us. It is a novel about risks and consequences, about rejection and survival, and it offers, finally, a gentle wisdom."
Quill & Quire: "Barfoot, herself a newspaper veteran, writes with the sparse forcefulness of reportage but leaves space for the soft edges around facts and the emotions around events...The novel becomes a kind of archaeological digging through words and events; the author leaves the reader with a detailed, finely balanced family portrait that favours story over history, now over then."
Halifax News: "One of the pleasures of growing older is the ability to see your parents as people and start to understand their motivations and even, perhaps, to finally forgive their shortcomings...the heroine of Family News embarks on a journey of understanding, taking on the challenging matters of love, death and birth."