Sunday, April 28, 2019

Inheritance; Dani Shapiro, a memoir

AUTHOR:  Dani Shapiro
PUBLISHER:  Alfred Knopf
PUB. YEAR: 2019
FORMAT:  -  print/library
RATING - 4/5

Blond, blue-eyed author Dani Shapiro was told on a few occasions that she didn't look Jewish even though she grew up in a Jewish Orthodox family with roots from Eastern Europe.  One day in 2016, on a whim she decides to have a DNA test done in conjunction with  When the results come back, her life is turned upside down.  She learns quickly that the only father she had known, was not her biological father. 

With both parents now deceased, but a husband willing to help her unlock the mystery of her conception, she was quickly able to piece together just who her biological father was. Her biological father was a 1960s University of Pennsylvania medical student and sperm donor and now, a retired physician.

Deeply personal and moving,  as I read her story it began to raise all sorts of questions for me.  I found this memoir fascinating and a real page-turner. I thought it was sad that many of the questions that she would have liked to have answered were ones that only the two people  she thought she knew  best took to their graves.

If you have any interest in genetics or paternity, try this memoir.


  1. So interesting! We've all done our DNA testing and it's been fascinating to see what relatives come out of the woodwork. Just this morning we were talking about how a number of people are discovering siblings, etc that they knew nothing about.

  2. I heard about this from a friend, and it sounds so interesting. I think the bottom line with DNA testing is that anyone who gets it done needs to be okay with finding out something unexpected. I think I would enjoy reading this book—sounds intriguing.

  3. I've heard of the surprises thrown up by searches for ancestors. This must be one of the worst.

  4. I've seen this one around, but never really considered it until reading your review. Sounds interesting!

  5. This one sounds like an intriguing memoir.

  6. This sounds really good, I'm off to find a copy.

  7. Your review made me want to read this one.

  8. I agree -- I found INHERITANCE very readable and very interesting. It made me want to read more of Shapiro's memoirs.

  9. This sounds very interesting. I've read one novel by Shapiro, which I enjoyed, but it was many years ago and the details are very foggy.


Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thanks again for visiting.