The Stranger in My Genes

The Stranger in My Genes[Download] ✤ The Stranger in My Genes By Bill Griffeth – Bill Griffeth longtime genealogy buff takes a DNA test that has an unexpected outcome If the results were correct it meant that the family tree I had spent years documenting was not my own Bill undert Bill Griffeth longtime genealogy buff takes in My eBook ´ a DNA test that has an unexpected outcome If the results were correct it meant that the family tree I had The Stranger MOBI :¼ spent years documenting was not my own Bill undertakes a uest to solve the mystery of his origins which shakes his sense of identity As he takes us Stranger in My eBook ✓ on his journey we learn about choices made by his ancestors parents and others and we see Bill measure and weigh his own difficult choices as he confronts the past. Griffeth a financial reporter who developed his genealogy interests into a previous book tracing the Griffeth family through 400 years of American Protestantism including the Salem Witch Trials Mormonism and Midwest Methodists and how this strong family line had shaped him found out via a cousin's press for DNA testing to find matches that he was not in fact a Griffeth He is briefly outraged that his mother must have been raped but when the only response he can get from his mother is that she made a mistake he construes it as a sordid and adulterous fling for his otherwise shy and pious mother While sulking and crying and suffering the loss of his paternal lineage and whining that his mother is shut down and unresponsive he goes off looking for his biological father interpreting the many red flags he finds as the man being charming and somehow worth his mother cheating The thoroughly unscientific poll of women I mentioned this too had the same reaction I did in a world with no abortion and unreliable birth control his mother made a mistake by blaming herself for being harassed coerced or forced into sex with her boss after being ordered to bring papers to him at a deserted construction site and came to some private arrangement with a loving and supportive husband to raise the child especially since the rest of the book is Griffeth investigating other cruel family episodes like children adopted out during the depression a single mother signed over to the county poor farm and the hanging suicide of a great uncle with Alzheimers He may not need resolution but the reader does This book brief but repetitive is all about how emotionally devastating it was to the author to learn that he was not the genetic son of the man who was married to his mother who had raised him and who he thought was his father in all respects That he hadn't known this crushes him But when he brings himself to ask his mother what had happened and what led to his birth he walks away after his mother makes a one sentence apology for her mistake Now that characterization of the situation which could apply to all sorts of incidents does not clarify whether the extra marital sexual relationship which led to the author's birth was voluntary or involuntary short or lengthy or any other uestion the author chooses to interpret the statement in the way which is least painful to him not to search for the actual facts of the case I find it hard to believe that the author is an investigative reporter Bill Griffeth chooses to romanticize the man who by all reasonable inferences raped his mother After discovering through a DNA test that he has a different father than his brother all family members agree that his mother would never have had an affair And when he confronts her with the DNA results she reports I made a mistake when I was younger and that it happened at a deserted construction site with a former boss When she refuses to discuss it further and looks at his with dead eyes Griffeth takes that as her admission of an affair rather than seeing the pain of a woman who had lived with trauma for decades He briefly considers asking but just says that his mother would not admit to a rape to save his feelings and dismisses the issue When Griffeth discovers that that his biological father had multiple marriages he briefly considers that he may have been a seriel philanderer but then reject that since he doesn't know him But he repeatedly refers to the shame embarassment indiscretion of his mother who he does know as a good moral woman He then spends the rest of the book with his fantasies of the Father's Days and times on the golf course he could have spent with the man he clearly admires from afar I could totally relate to this memoir well sort of I wasn't raised with my birth father either but I did get to meet my father when I was 18 whereas the author never got to meet his birth father and found out in his 50's thru DNA testing that the dad he thought was dad was not his father The turmoil and heartache of piecing together one's family history is compelling I loved how thoughtful he was of his mother who kept her secret from everyone He wanted answers but did not want to cause heartache to his 95 yr old mother Painful times for everyone involved but all in all truth is healingOne particular paragraph summed up my feelings towards family history and that was on page 91If genealogy had taught me anything it was that when our lives are stripped to the bare walls no job no money no possessions we are left with a fundamental truth that defines us and it's family Careers and professional achievements are filed under What We Do It's family that makes us Who We Are Family relationships supersede all others You may not get along with your relatives and you may not be interested in your ancestry but you cannot escape their influence Family gave you your looks and your mannerisms and helped shape your very identity As a genealogist I've done DNA testing for myself and I administer kits for multiple family members I'm fully aware of the potential for unexpected findings and I haven't taken the warnings lightly I readily admit that I did breathe a sigh of relief when DNA matches confirmed that I was a part of my genealogical family and that we brought the right child home from the hospital but I never truly understood how much my identity would change if the results had been different Bill's story pushed me to reflect on how much my own genealogical findings have influenced the way I think of myself and the importance of my relationship to every person in my family tree Could have been a long magazine article Slow to get started and a lot of melodramatic moments about how shocking it is to find out your father isn't your father Cliches abound It satisfied my genealogy nerdiness This book is in the process of being passed around my DNA Interest Group and eventually my turn came As someone fairly involved in family history and sufficiently experienced with DNA testing that I've given some talks on the subject I was looking forward to reading the book Initially it held some promise it's by a devoted genealogist whose tests revealed that his dad was not his biological fatherWell that had to produce strong emotions and it did The author assumed the test had to be mistaken and it took some retesting to convince him He then had to solve the mystery OK this all makes a reasonable premise for a compelling story Unfortunately the author disappoints usMy initial feeling as I began to be disappointed was that by this time I should know better than to expect memoirs by journalists to be good books Journalists are good at churning out copy and investigative journalists are good at interviewing people and digging up information but generally speaking their memoirs at least memoirs not about their careers are lamentably weak efforts about remarkable experiences that deserve better I think that this is the natural result of their training they learn to write simple common denominator generally rather short news items about events external to themselves When it comes to writing books that deal with their own deepest emotions and experiences their journalistic experience is of very little use for anything but digging up some facts They don't know how to write about themselves and their families in anything but the most trite prose The better writers among journalists can write long pieces for a broad audience without sounding cliche but most journalists are not good enough writers to do that I would also posit that perhaps many journalists are not by nature introspective people which adds to their inability to write very well about themselvesIn the case of this particular memoir by a television financial journalist his shock at discovering his unexpected parentage does not even make the reader sympathetic which it really ought to but causes numerous readers to comment that he spends much of a very short book whining I was sympathetic to a point I knew how disorienting it was when paper evidence suggested that one of my great grandfathers might be of colonial American descent when everyone else in that generation was an immigrant DNA eventually proved he was really the son of German immigrants which was easier for my family to adjust to But I wasn't impressed that the author spent so much time rejecting the evidence and then didn't really dig very deeply As other readers have commented it's jarring when once his proper and religious mother admits to having made a mistake he assumes that she had a wild fling with her employer rather than that as the evidence suggests she failed to fight the man off Sure I can understand not wanting to press his mother further on a difficult subject but ultimately this is a memoir that leaves the reader rather unimpressed by and unsympathetic to the narrator and leaves the reader wishing the author had done digging to fully understand who both of his biological parents were The author was talked into getting a DNA test by his cousin as they were both genealogy buffs looking to explore family history The results came back showing his father the man who raised him was not his biological father or so it seemed His first reaction was denial Then as he studied about inheritance and DNA he understood that it might be true and there could be several explanations for it I know of at least threeI enjoyed this book for several reasons The least important one is that the author has the same name as my favorite uncle I'm also a genealogy buff and have had my DNA done with a surprise in store for me there The author takes a long time getting to the meat of the story but the book is generally well written The aspect that I found most compelling if somewhat difficult for me to grasp is how emotionally he took this revelation It consumed him for years and tore him apart Whom should he tell? Was it a lab error? Should he ask his 95 year old mother about it? It seemed to me that it should not have been so surprising If you don't want to know that kind of information don't take a DNA test There are multiple bold face warnings about this kind of thing on the testing company websites and instructionsThe other aspect that truly surprised me was how little he and his other relatives understood about DNA The father gives a boy his Y Chromosome Why is that so hard to understand? The author's oversimplification of much of the DNA science was a disservice too This is really junior high science class stuff but apparently it baffles and frightens a lot of people The book gave me a sense of how deeply some people feel about their identity or at least what they think of as their identityI have one warning I listened to the audiobook that was produced by Silicon Valley Reads It was an odd rather amateurish production and the reader while not bad exactly had an odd cadence that I found disconcerting almost like he was reading to very small children I suggest reading this one

The Stranger in My Genes PDF ï The Stranger  MOBI
  • Hardcover
  • 202 pages
  • The Stranger in My Genes
  • Bill Griffeth
  • 12 June 2016
  • 9780880823449