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Publisher's Summary

In the historical context of the Jim Crow South, Gail explores her mother's decision to pass, how she hid her secret even from her own husband, and the price she paid for choosing whiteness. Haunted by her mother's fear and shame, Gail embarks on a quest to uncover her mother's racial lineage, tracing her family back to 18th-century colonial Louisiana. In coming to terms with her decision to publicly out her mother, Gail changed how she looks at race and heritage.
With a foreword written by Kenyatta Berry, host of PBS's Genealogy Roadshow, this unique and fascinating story of coming to terms with oneself breaks down barriers. A Washington Post Notable Book of 2017's Most Inspiring Stories.
©2018 Gail Lukasik (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By yolanda m. collier on 06-06-18


I hated this book! I would give it a zero if I could. I really wanted to love it. Excellent topic that I normally enjoy but the style of writing and point of view irritated me. The fictional letters that were supposed to be from the points of view is of people that she only knew about from birth records. The comments about how her mother was probably big on manners because she thought it was more white. Has she ever been in contact with Southern Blacks before this discovery? Many Blacks just like anyone else are taught manners in the home. The being insulted that people asked about her ethnic background, how? You’re giving a talk on race! Dah! The not understanding why her Mother’s siblings weren’t told that Shirly was their sister when visiting. Well she was passing for white and they were black children if they told someone, she could have been killed. After all of this research you should have understood this. I was also surprised that there was no connection made between the the mother’s passing and her depression? I’m baffled about the congrats that the writer received for reaching out to her Black family. They are family why would it be something different then reaching out to any family members? The last three chapters were the most interesting. I wanted to stop listening to this so many times. The reader’s tone sounded condescending. Sorry for the rant maybe the issue is too close!

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Kate on 04-17-18

Too much information to easily follow along.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I thought that this had real potential to be captivating. I do find the story interesting, however, there were way too many details in names, dates and people to keep the story straight for the listener. I like the idea of this story, it was just too confusing to keep all the people and relatives straight. After a while, all the people become very difficult to differentiate. I just couldn't listen to any more after the half way point, and I think I would have liked to if it wasn't so tricky to understand.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The most interesting aspect of this story is the secret that her mothers has kept her entire life.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Bernadette Dunne?


What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Besides being very confusing with her family tree looking back on many generations, it does make you question your own identity.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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