SOCIAL SCIENCES

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love

Knopf. Jan. 2019. 272p. ISBN 9781524732714. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781524732721. MEMOIR
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Memoirist (Hourglass) and novelist (Family History) Shapiro was told her entire life that she was an Orthodox Jew and had no reason to think otherwise. Except the author didn't look like anyone else in her family and also felt that she didn't exactly belong. So when she takes a DNA test on a whim and learns that her father is not her biological father, it makes sense but also turns her world upside down. It's revealed that her parents sought help conceiving at a less-than-reputable fertility clinic in the 1960s, when little was known about artificial insemination. Shapiro meets with relatives, rabbis, her biological father, and anyone else who might help her understand this. But what she really wants to know is how her parents could let this happen and if they realized how it would impact her life. Shapiro has written several memoirs on family (Still Writing, Devotion), and this latest is fast-paced, easy to read, and ultimately seeks answers to the questions of, who am I, why am I here, and how shall I live? All have something to do with love.
VERDICT A fascinating read for memoir fans and anyone curious about how DNA tests could impact one's life.

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