I chose to read this book despite reading several poor reviews, and ended up wishing I would have listed to the reviews. The idea behind the book was great, and at times it did have me pondering who I am and what makes me who I am. The ending was even pretty good, if a little predictable. However, I just couldn't like the characters. They didn't seem real and were not very believable. I kept finding myself asking "Who would really do that?"
"Family Tree" was an amazingly easy to read book. The premise of this book was an interesting concept, a child with clearly African-American traits born to a white couple with no knowledge of African roots on either side. The mother's reaction seemed a little unrealistic. It was too accepting too quickly. True she did not know her background like the husband, but she did know what both of her parents and maternal grand parents looked like. I don't feel she should have been upset by her daughter's color, just that I think most people would really be surprised and very curious like the husband was. He may have gone too far with the issue of infidelity. However, it is probably realistic to have people gossiping and accusing given the circumstances.
The negatives were too many unnecessary story lines and not enough development of some of the characters... What did Dana's grandfather and the customer Corine add to the book?. It would have been nice to get a closer look at Eaton's father. And what decision did Eaton come to about revealing his true Family Tree? Too much left unfinished... That said, this book will keep you in suspense emotionally while questioning your morals and values and how you see yourself versus who you really are.
This is a really good book - I enjoyed it and I lent it to my 80 year-old father-in-law, who also enjoyed it. Barbara Delinsky is always good - this one had a kind of unusual story line, which I found interesting. You really sat and wondered how you would feel if put in the situation the couple in the book found themselves in.
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I'VE READ,STARTED IT ONE NIGHT AND FINISHED IT THE NEXT DAY.ABOUT A COUPLE WHO HAVE THEIR FIRST BABY,AND WHEN SHE'S BORN YOU CAN TELL RIGHT A WAY THERE'S A PROBLEM,SHE SHOWS TRAITS OF BEING AFRICAN-AMERICAN THEIR BOTH WHITE,THE HUSBAND THINKS ALL SORTS OF THINGS ONE BEING BROUGHT UP BY HIS PARENTS DID YOUR WIFE HAVE AN AFFAIR.YOU JUST HAVE TO READ IT!!!!!
When Dana and Hugh Clarke's daughter is unexpectedly born looking African American, they are both forced to explore some uncomfortable truths about themselves. The result is an intriguing story that reveals rarely discussed emotions. Delinsky takes a potentially explosive topic and treats it with sensitivity and honesty. This is a book that will stay with you for a long time.
I feel obligated to write a review because a lot of the ones I read were not good. I just finished this and thought it was great! It is a story about knowing who you are and about racism and the prejudices that everyone has without even being aware of it. It was a quck read. Another great one from Barbara Delinsky!
This book is about racial equality, family history, practicing what you preach, etc. I didn't really like this book very much, mostly because the situations seemed just too contrived and everything that was occurring all in the same time frame made it really unbelievable. It was interesting to hear what the characters said about racial equality, and did give me something to think about.
This was a quick, quick read. The story was good, had some minor flaws, but all in all, was very enjoyable. I really enjoyed the unexpected substory surrounding Dana's knitting, the knitting shop, and the solace it gave her. Very nice!
I thought this book would be ok. I thought it would be a good book to read when I didnt have alot of time because I wouldn't get into it to much. I was wrong! It was a very good and addicting book. I had a hard time putting it down. There was definitley some mystery along with drama! The summary doesn't do its job with making it sound interesting enough to read but it definitely is worth the time!
This book was very enjoyable and a quick read...great for the beach or a weekend getaway! Also an interesting, thought-provoking look at race and makes you think "how far have we really come with prejudice?"
This book is all about families... hers, his, and then some. Mystery of genes made this into somewhat of a page turner. After reading this, I'm intrigued by what this author could do with other topics.
I read this book while camping with my extended family. It lead to several spirited debates about ethics and race relations with my teenaged nephew. I had to call him once I had finished the book so he could find out what happened. (His mother was thrilled because she said he hasn't shown interest in anything that isn't a video game in about 2 years!)
It was interesting and thought provoking.
Absolutely amazing story about a multiracial birth to white parents. The accusations that follow are painful, but I can see this happening to a "pure white family". It is a very modern story, now that we have a multiracial president. A must read!!!!
This is the 2nd of Barbara Delinsky's books that I've read. I really loved "The Woman Next Door" so I thought I'd give this book a look since the conscept sounded interesting.
I didn't really read the reviews before ordering it and I ended up loving it!
At first I thought I had it all figured out then they got me when they incorporated people that where already in the story line.
I saw that someone didn't like the fact that there wasn't enought "character build up" but I liked that. I think that if she wrote it specifically detailing random people's lives then it would definelty give the ending away (which is no fun for me)!
This book was very well written and kept me engrossed to the very end. Delinsky has a way of captivating her audiance with true to life situations and keeping you guessing as to how everything is going to pan out in the end. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that likes to read modern day situations.
I really enjoyed this book! I found myself wanting to talk to people and get their opinions on the situation. It was more than a typical fluff romance novel, but didn't get academic. It was a quick and interesting read that I passed on to a few friends before posting it to trade!
A great read that keeps you on the edge of your seat, at the same time no questionable content for the christian reader, even though not written as a book for this audience. A great read. Couldn't put it down.
I thought it started out fine...who wouldn't question the parentage of a child born looking as though her heritage didn't match the parents? I didn't mind the search for where the child's ancestry came from. This was an interesting plot. What I did NOT like was the fact that both people felt they had to be different once they thought their ancestry wasn't exactly what they thought it was. Why on earth would a lawyer suddenly feel he should look for shades of racism in his current cases because he learned his grandfather was black? Shouldn't he have done that to begin with? WHY would someone begin to feel inferior? WHY would someone feel guilty? And WHY would that person suddenly start calling themselves 'African American' and begin claiming a right to outrage at predudices he has never faced? Shouldn't a decent person be outraged about prejudice without having African ancestry? In this situation, it would be the knowledge of the infidelity of my grandmother that would have been more significant to me...it would have made me rethink my impressions of HER, not myself or my family.
Just a year or so ago, we learned that a family member is 10% Sub-Saharan African. We were surprised because we expected something different, but there was NONE of this baloney of trying to figure out who he was all the sudden. Just "Gee. That's interesting." He didn't feel the need to run around to everyone he knew letting them know he has African blood so he wouldn't feel like he was trying to 'pass'. If genetics comes up, he's proud to mention it, otherwise, who cares?
Seemed to me as though Barbara Delinsky was trying to prove her own lack of prejudice and some kind of understanding of what African Americans face. I just didn't like it, and I usually DO like her work.
I can't tell you how disappointed I was in this book. I found the characters so unbelievably sappy and stupid. I truly had a hard time even reading thing. I had to skip entire chapters to actually get to the point of what she was trying to say. Save your time and pass this one by.
An unforgettable novel about family, race, and the choices people make in times of crisis.
Dana Clarke has just given birth to her first child. The little girl is lovely, but no one can help noticing how little she resembles her parents. Dana's husband, among others, suspects that she may have had an affair. In order to put the rumors and speculations to rest, Dana has to delve deep into her past and her husband's heritage to unearth some uncomfortable secrets. Can her marriage survive what she discovers?
I always enjoy Barbara Delinsky's books, but this one was one I couldn't put down until I got to the very end. I highly recommend it to everyone.
This was a great topic that would have been better served by a better author. This was my first book by Ms.Delinsky before and I feel that her writing is very basic - elementary school level. If you want a very quick read its ok. I was dissapointed.
I wanted to like this book. I enjoy Barbara Delinsky's writing, but this one just didn't do it for me. The premise was interesting, but the surrounding situations seemed very contrived...there were too many subplots for such a short book. It was a quick and easy read, but somewhat of a let down.
Most readers did not enjoy this effort from Ms. Delinsky calling it contrived, forced, with characters that do not behave reasonably or sensibly. I'm on the fence about this one myself. The premise was not very plausible but I found enough to like to keep me reading it to the end. Not recommended as Delinsky's best effort, but interesting enough none the less.
Things are not always taken at face value. A look at a family where things are not as they appear. Very well written piece of fiction. Talks about racial relationships within a family and biases people have. Nicely written.
This is a very thought provoking book that I enjoyed very much. When the Clarke's new baby girl is born, everyone is shocked to see a beautiful light brown baby with black curly hair. Everyone immediately recognizing her as having an African-American appearance every though her parents and grandparents are white. The accusations immediately begin to fly and family heritages are questioned. The characters are very well developed and the story line is very realistic.
I really enjoyed this book about how the birth of a baby with obvious biracial features (to a couple who think they are completely caucasian) changes the way both sides of the family feel and think about themselves and each other. Really made me think about how people define themselves and each other. Also made me want to learn how to knit. The mother in the story is an avid knitter and owns a yarn shop. I can't post this book soon, because I want both of my daughters and my best friend to read it. Then I might have to send it to my mother. It's that kind of a book. It discusses race, class distinction, aging, family secrets, marriage, how important friends are to us, and family ties.
Interesting concept, studying the reactions of a family when the first child of a presumably white couple is born with obvious African-American characteristics. There are some simplistic resolutions, but the interesting part is how the people involved face this challenge to their presumed liberal philosophies.
Delinsky provides the reader with a moral dilemna and an interesting twist. In this day and age of categorizing people it provokes the reader to think twice before pigeonhoking someone. If I said more, I'd give away too much.
A white woman gives birth to a child with her white husband from a prominent family. The baby is born with African American traits. Baffled and determined to find out where the baby's traits came from she tracts down the father she never knew. She explores her past and her husband's heritage to find out! But everyone suspects the woman had an affair. Great read!
I enjoyed reading this book. The story definitely makes you think of what your actions would be like if you were in the same situation. This was one of my favorites from Ms. Delinsky. Would recommend it to those liking a good story.
I like Delinsky as a writer. In the Family Tree she tackles the delicate emotions of a family when the much awaited child turns out to have african american features. The mother has to confront her past that includes finding a father she never knew. For her husband seems to need proof to show his family, she had not had an affair. The story line is well drawn and the only slight problem is telling the reader how genetically it could happen. It was here the story got slightly bogged down and the information not processed smoothly in the story. She did give a small interesting twist in the ending. As always, Delinsky gives you things to think about with her characters. While not my favorite Delinsky book, it is still a decent book.
For those of us immersed in genealogy research, this is an interesting read. It's so important to cite your sources to back up your genealogy. In this story, there were rumors that were not explored and family history that was not fully documented. I finished it the same day I got it.
Not bad! Very good subject choice for the author.
I didn't have a hard time keeping the characters straight, which is something I hate!
Story moves along well, great detailing on the knitting aspect! You really do care about the characters, even though their actions may be frustrating at times.
Correct me if I'm wrong (I tend to read fast, and may miss details) but at the end of the book, when the main character is running around doing things, it's like the author forgot about the baby! where is she? who has her?
Dana and Hugh Clarke are happily married although their upbringing couldn't be more different. Dana, lost her mother early and grew up with her grandma, Hugh was raised in a elitist family that prided themselves to know their whole family heritage of Anglo-Saxons.
But their world turns upside down with the birth of their first child, Lizzie, who's unremarkable features point to an African-America heritage.
While Dana's fairly certain her daughter got her features from her mostly unknown family Hugh struggles with his families' resentment towards the child and his doubts in his wife's fidelity. His tool to quiet his families' voices and his own lingering doubts about his wife and best friend and Neighbor, David who looks so much like little Lizzie, is a paternity test.
But Hugh is the father and little Lizzie's blood has more to reveal than that.
Although an interesting topic, I think the author didn't quite deliver or I didn't get it. I can't put my finger on it but a lot of the protagonists actions didn't make sense to me and were plain old stereotype.
The wife loves knitting, her life is nursing and knitting. The family has to deal with the discovery that there is African-American blood in their veins. Please, spare me. I know there are certainly families that wouldn't want to hear about this but it is hardly imaginable that in today's times a family is a Delinsky-called purebreed.
Also largely missing is the emotion a topic like this should cause in a family.
Probably not the best book by Delinsky.
From Publishers Weekly
When Dana and Hugh Clarke's baby is born into their wealthy, white New England seaside community, the baby's unmistakably African-American features puzzle her thoroughly Anglo-looking parents. Hugh's family pedigree extends back to the Mayflower, and his historian father has made a career of tracing the esteemed Clarke family genealogy, which does not include African-Americans. Dana's mother died when Dana was a child, and Dana never knew her father: she matter-of-factly figures that baby Lizzie's features must hark back to her little-known past. Hugh, a lawyer who has always passionately defended his minority clients, finds his liberal beliefs don't run very deep and demands a paternity test to rule out the possibility of infidelity. By the time the Clarkes have uncovered the tangled roots of their family trees, more than one skeleton has been unearthed, and the couple's relationshipnot to mention their family loyaltyhas been severely tested. Delinsky (Looking for Peyton Place) smoothly challenges characters and readers alike to confront their hidden hypocrisies. Although the dialogue about race at times seems staged and rarely delves beyond a surface level, and although near-perfect Dana and her knitting circle are too idealized to be believable, Delinsky gets the political and personal dynamics right. (Feb.)