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Our Family and IT

Our Family and IT is my debut novel. It is about family life when the mother has been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness (IT). The chapters are written by the different family members (including the three children aged 6, 14 and 18) and take the reader on a journey. IT becomes the uninvited guest in the family and as the story develops the frustrations, anxieties and impact all become very real. I have deliberately been vague about the illness – not wanting to address one specific illness over others. The focus is on the emotional and social impact and not on treatment.

Our Family and IT is available from York Publishing Services (please see link below) and Amazon


Rachel writes about children and parental life-limiting illness and death. This includes academic papers, books and resources.

Journal Articles

Fearnley, R. and Boland, J.W. (2017) Communication and support from health care professionals to families, with dependent children, following the diagnosis of parental life-limiting illness: A systematic review. Palliative Medicine, 31(3): 212 – 222.

Fearnley, R. (2015) Writing the 'penultimate chapter': How children begin to make sense of parental terminal illness. Mortality, 20(2): 163 – 177.

Fearnley, R. (2012) Supporting children when a parent has a life-threatening illness: the role of the community practitioner. Community Practitioner 85(12): 22 – 25.

Fearnley, R. (2010) Death of a Parent and the Children's Experience: Don't Ignore the Elephant in the Room. Journal of Interprofessional Care 24(4): 450-459.

Fearnley, R. (2010) Children and bereavement: Living with a dying parent, Inside Palliative Care, 12: July 2010: 22 - 23.


Fearnley, R. (2012) Communicating with Children when a Parent is at the End of Life. London: Jessica Kingsley.

View Rachel’s Interview Here Buy Rachel’s Book Here Buy Our Family and IT Here


Fearnley, R. (2012) Let’s Talk About Dying: Helping professionals to communicate to family members, Speechmark.


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