I am not familiar with Shapiro as a novelist and memoir writer, so I approached this book blind. In the first few pages I thought I wasn’t going to like it. But I was very wrong.
Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love is a remarkable story of one women’s fascinating journey when she finds out at age 54 she is not who she thought she was.
Dani Shapiro was raised in a strict Orthodox Jewish home in New Jersey. An only child she adored her father, struggled with her mother and always felt a bit of an “outsider”. She has clear childhood memories of people questioning whether she really was Jewish – so blonde, blue-eyed.
Shapiro’s journey that began in 2016 leads the reader through the questions of family secrets, ethnicity, paternity and ethics. And more than anything, what is it that makes us family?
Shapiro is one of thousands of people who have, for better or worse, learned they are not who they thought they were as a result of the world we now live in where DNA testing is as easy as making a phone call. But learning the results can create a whole new set of ethical and social questions in a world where technology and science have outpaced medical ethics as well as the capacity of the human heart to contend with the consequences we discover.
An absolutely beautiful yet astonishing story.
Five Stars for Inheritance by Dani Shapiro.
Read last week’s review of Five Presidents by Clint Hill