Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Knopf; 1st Edition edition (January 15, 2019)
What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us?
In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history–the life she had lived–crumbled beneath her.
Inheritance is a book about secrets–secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in–a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.
This book was very interesting and I didn’t want to stop reading. Everytime I learned the outcome of one thing, I wanted to keep reading so I could find out what happened next. It was a long painful journey for Dani and at times she thought she’d never find the information she so desperately wanted, but in the end things turned out in a way that she was satisfied with.
I don’t know what I would do in this situation, but I applaud Dani for doing whatever it took to get the answers she needed.
This was the first book I’ve read by this author and now I want to read more by her.