Inheritance by Dani Shapiro

14 comments

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Wow.  I can almost stop right there with my review.  I finished this book in two days, and can honestly say that never have I read a book that I would immediately recommend to anyone and everyone.  This book was so incredibly personal and touching, I almost felt like I was invading the author’s privacy.  I walked through each discovery and emotional roller coaster along with her.  I cried and wanted to help.  And I learned so so so much from this book.

Ok- so if you don’t know what this book is about- Dani Shapiro (who I love from reading “Hourglass” actually in this group last year) sends her DNA sample to Ancestry.com and learns that her father is not her biological father.  I really don’t want to give away the story, but the journey that she goes on is not just personal, but also spiritual, cultural and political.

What a fine piece of writing this is.  And it encouraged me to explore my own history- how my parents, their lives, our family tree are such an integral part of my identity.  I don’t think about these things often, but right now they are front and center in my mind.  I want to learn more about myself, my family and place the pieces together in the cultural framework that I have grown up with.

Lastly, I will say- I felt this in “Hourglass” as well – I have some kind of weird cosmic connection to this writer, Dani Shapiro.  Her work just makes complete sense to me, the way she writes is so similar to the way I think, reading her is like taking a long walk with a good friend.

I highly recommend this book.

14 comments on “Inheritance by Dani Shapiro”

  1. Meredith, you had me at “wow”. Had this book on my radar and now will be sure and investigate it. Thank you for focusing me in on it. And yes, I understand “weird cosmic connection”. It happens, and it is rare and thrilling and oh so satisfying. : )

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  2. Meredith, this book keeps coming to my attention, most recently (that is, before I read your enthusiastic review) in this past Sunday’s newspaper. This must be a message.

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    1. Well, puddle my frog! Dani Shapiro is making an appearance at the Dallas Museum of Art on Monday evening, Feb. 4. Just think, Meredith, you could stand in line at the book signing and tell her how you felt about reading her book! Wish you were here.

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      1. Oh, I wish I could be there too! She actually lives close to me in CT- and she offers workshops at Kripalu, which is a yoga retreat center in the Berkshires (about 2 hours away from me). There is one in the coming weeks and it was all I could do to hold myself back from booking myself a room—- but too much going on at home right now.. My eyes are peeled for her next readings and events that are close by though, so at some point I have confidence that the timing will work out 🙂

        “puddle my frog” – lolol

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      2. With DS so close to you, it should certainly happen. Something to look forward to!

        Puddle my frog is one of the best things I got from one of my bosses, a Texan through and through. He is also the person who explained to me that “dogie” is a proper spelling when it’s cattle you’re addressing: “Git along, little dogie!”

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  3. Thanks Meredith. Your review was so enthusiastic that I put in a request for Inheritance at the library. I am #14 on the list–it will be awhile.

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    1. Well, now I really hope everyone enjoys the book as much as I did! Barbara, looks like you will have probably have the book in time for our summer reading challenge..!

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  4. I just saw Shapiro on PBS Newshour in a brief piece on family secrets. The bones of the story leaving the viewer craving the flesh.

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    1. Teri, I saw that segment too. I also saw that she has made NY Times bestseller list… As you know, I think she has earned all the readers that she gets– the book really gives us all so much to think about..

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  5. Meredith, thanks for introducing me to this author. I found the piece on PBS about Inheritance. I also found a piece that Shapiro did on Hourglass. I am anxious to read her work. Since I have to wait for Inheritance, I’m going to try and get Hourglass from the library.

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    1. Barbara- I have a copy of Hourglass that I would be happy to mail to you if the line is too long at the library… let me know! I was also excited to see that DS will be in a neighboring town (about 10 min from me) at the end of February for a reading/signing- so I am planning to go 🙂

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