Author Ann Bancroft: Almost Family


How do you find joy when faced with a terminal diagnosis? This episode of Big Blend Radio’s 2nd Wednesday “Books & Authors” Show with Books Forward features debut author Ann Bancroft who tackles this theme with sharp humor and profound compassion in her new novel, “Almost Family, ” that’s out now through She Writes Press. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the episode on Podbean.

Featuring a rough-around-the-edges, quick-witted heroine who stumbles upon an unlikely, but necessary, found family; this debut deftly balances the existential questions raised by terminal illness with honesty and wry humor, reflecting the power of love to heal and foster growth even at the end of life.

Liz Millanova has stage four cancer, a grown daughter who doesn’t speak to her, and obsessive memories of a relationship that tore her marriage apart.  She thinks of herself as someone who’d rather die than sit through a support group, but now that she actually is going to die, she figures she might as well give it a go.

At a hospital-sponsored group, Liz hits it off with two other patients. Dave, a gay Vietnam vet, Rhonda, a devout, nice woman, and snarky Liz decide to ditch the group and meet on their own. They call themselves The Oakland Mets, and their goal is to enjoy life while they can. In the odd intimacy they form, Liz learns to open up and get close. The trio joined forces to have a good time – but what they wind up doing is helping one another come to grips with dying and resolve the unfinished business in their lives.

Ann Bancroft began writing fiction after a career in journalism and communications. Her first job after graduating from UC Berkeley was as “copy boy” at The Oakland Tribune, at a time when there were few women in the newsroom. As a reporter, she worked in the State Capitol bureaus of the San Francisco Chronicle, United Press International and the Associated Press. She wrote editorials for The Sacramento Bee and was later appointed communications director for the State Department of Education. After a first bout of breast cancer, she retired early and began writing fiction, leading generative writing workshops, and mentoring breast cancer patients. She’s an alumna of the Community of Writers, the Tomales Bay Writers Workshops, and Everwood Farmstead artist’s residency. “Almost Family” is her debut novel, to be published when she is 71.

 Almost Family

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About the Author:

Ann Bancroft began writing fiction after a career in journalism and communications.

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