Friday, December 13, 2019

The Milkman's Son

The Milkman's Son: A Memoir of Family History, a DNA Mystery, and a Story of Paternal Love. Randy Lindsay. 2020. [March] Shadow Mountain. 256 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: The dastardly thing about a life-changing event is that it can disguise itself as a normal day.

Premise/plot: Randy Lindsay grew up being called 'the Milkman's son' because he looked nothing like his siblings--all younger. But he never suspected that his dad wasn't his biological father. When his father asks him to do genealogical research and record the family tree, he didn't know that it would end up changing his life. The project started out as research, a side-project. He soon became obsessed with tracking all the lines of his family, in particular the LINDSAY line of his tree. Was he a Lindsay with an A or a Lindsey with an E. When traditional research left him at a dead end, he decided to do a DNA test little expecting that the results of that test would change him and how he defined family. The 'journey' spans almost a decade--perhaps a little more. He chronicles the ups and downs of the experience. He focuses on his feelings and on his relationships.

My thoughts: I definitely enjoyed this one. I found it a captivating story. In part because he is a good writer and knows how to tell a story. I've read other "DNA mystery" books where family secrets are spilled and lives are changed. This is the best I've read so far. The other book I read felt like it should have been about ten pages--no more. This one wasn't like that at all. It was actually a good read. I loved his developing interest in genealogy. I could definitely relate to his DILEMMA: "I struggle with the decision of whether I should go to bed or check one more name." And I smirked here, " I finally connect the Lindsays to a royal line and it happens to be one that includes an infamous villain in popular fiction. Does that mean the next time I watch a Robin Hood movie I need to root for the bad guy? That isn’t any fun. I already know he’s going to lose. And it will make me look like an idiot if I sit there during the movie and chant, “King John. King John. Go-o-o-o-o Lackland.” 

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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