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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Book Review: Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro (audio)

Dani Shapiro did something pretty innocently that felt extremely minor at the time, that changed her life. Her husband was researching his family tree and he was doing the DNA testing at Ancestry.com, and he convinced Dani to do it as well. He sent off the vials of spit, and weeks later the results arrived. As they were packing to go on a trip, Dani looked at her results and got shocking news--her half-sister who had already done the testing herself, wasn't related to her at all. Her father was not her father.

This revelation naturally opened a can of worms and Dani spent months trying to track down the truth. She knew the usual conclusion wasn't the answer here--her mother hadn't had an affair. This was something more complicated. And to make matters more difficult, most everyone involved was dead. Both Dani's parents had already died, her older family members as well, and she was left tracking down ghosts.

I listened to the audio which was so compelling, with Dani reading it herself, that I listened to the entire thing in two days. I'm sure everyone has thought about this sort of thing from time to time--what if I was really adopted? What if secretly, I was the heir to an obscure throne? What if these crazy family members weren't related to me after all? Dani, a blonde-haired blue-eyed girl in a family of Orthodox Jews, had her heritage questions more than most but it never occurred to her before. And now, the rug was pulled out from under her.

I borrowed this eaudiobook from Overdrive/Libby via my local library.

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