Saturday, July 5, 2008

Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky

Do you miss Charles Dickens? Do you still think about Pip in Great Expectations? Do you read books for well-crafted characters? Human non-violent conflicts? Interesting plots and sub-plots? and all the pieces tied together at the end?

Well I found the book: Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky. In addition to being a well-crafted story, and it is an engaging story, a page-turner, Family Tree explores the issues of genetics (Nature vs Nurture) and race in America in the 21st century.

[This is being written in the summer of 2008: Obama vs McCain]

While news is full of remembrances of Martin Luther who was shot 40 years ago and the exciting candidacy of Barack Obama, little new is being written on race (racism) in America. Much is about civil rights and equal opportunity and progress, and little about empathy and differences that seem as important as ever.

Even as a college student from the sixties who marched for integration and against HUAC, I found this book had something fresh and intimate to say about racism without ever preaching: the importance of empathy when equality is impossible. Again I was reminded that each of us is unique and none of us are equal.

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