March 27, 2019
Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro
Genre/Categories: Non Fiction, Memoir, Ancestry, Bioethics, Jewish
Family secrets….bioethics…..if you send in a DNA sample to Ancestry on a lark, be prepared for truth.
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Receiving DNA results from Ancestry propels a determined and persistent Dani Shapiro into a quest for identity and paternity. Shapiro thoughtfully unravels family secrets as she explores the meaning of love versus biology, a new cultural heritage, and family bonds. The story behind Shapiro’s discovery is not what you might expect and I won’t spoil that part of the story for you. You will want to know, though, that the ethical considerations that she brings up are worthy of discussion and careful thought.
Fair, blond-haired, and blue-eyed Shapiro always felt out of place in the sea of her family’s dark hair and dark eyes. While most of us would be shocked at the news Shapiro received through DNA results, we might not have been as rocked to our core as she was. Shapiro had cut her mother out of her life, and the news regarding Shapiro’s paternity affected her entire sense of self because she had so closely embraced and identified with her father’s family history. Because she admired her father’s side of the family and drew strength from the stories and accomplishments of her ancestors, she was devastated and felt betrayed as though she had lost everything.
Inheritance was a fascinating and compelling read for me because my husband has been using Ancestry DNA in an attempt to discover the identity of his biological father. I can imagine that DNA results might be causing some panic among older mothers who decades earlier (before it was so easy to determine paternity) led husbands to believe that a child was theirs or assumed that adoptions would remain private. As a result of careless youthful activities, some men could be surprised by adult children showing up on their doorsteps. What Shapiro experienced might become more common place as more people receive DNA results. I want to restate, though, that the details of Shapiro’s conception are not what readers would commonly suspect and is a unique and an extremely interesting part of her story.
Although engaging, interesting, and honestly written, Inheritance could have benefited from some stronger editing to reduce the length and minimize some repetitiveness. I listened to this on audio and it might come across differently in print.
Inheritance is recommended for readers who love compelling memoir, for those who appreciate thinking through ethical concerns, and for fans of Dani Shapiro.
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Meet the Author, Dani Shapiro
Do you like memoir? Have you read this or is it on your TBR?
Have you DNA tested?
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
On Friday look for a review of
Beantown Girls by Jane Healey
Winter and Spring TBR
I’ll be providing my last update for my Winter TBR as I read the last selection this week.
Sharing is Caring
Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.
***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.
Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.