Thursday, June 6, 2013

Family Tree

Family Tree
Barbara Delinksy

Family Tree

Genre: Women's Fiction

Summary (from Goodreads):  For as long as she can remember, Dana Clarke has longed for the stability of home and family. Now she has married a man she adores, whose heritage can be traced back to the Mayflower, and she is about to give birth to their first child. But what should be the happiest day of her life becomes the day her world falls apart. Her daughter is born beautiful and healthy, and in addition, unmistakably African-American in appearance. Dana’s determination to discover the truth about her baby’s heritage becomes a shocking, poignant journey. A superbly crafted novel, Family Tree asks penetrating questions about family and the choices people make in times of crisis.

Review:  I generally like Delinsky's books for what they are, and I'll classify that as chick lit for moms.  This book had an interesting premise, but didn't live up to my expectations for many reasons.  The thing that bothered me most is that when the mother thought she had a great-grandparent who was part African American (giving her a heritage that was 1/16th African American) she immediately questioned who she really was, telling her family that she is now an African American.  Really?  Would suddenly finding out you are 1/16th of any nationality at all really make much of a difference in how you view yourself or how you live your life?  I don't think so.  And shouldn't the concern here be focused on how the child's looks will affect her life?  Also, the controversy between husband and wife about genetic testing was unbelievable; the husband's refusal to discuss it logically with his wife made me MAD.  I also questioned whether Delinsky had every been around a newborn, given the ease with which the mother suddenly took over a yarn store and care of an elderly relative, while toting around a newborn baby.  I frequently reread some of Delinsky's earlier novels that have sympathetic characters, strong and believable dialogue, and discuss family issues, but this one I will donate to Goodwill.

Rating: 2 stars

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