‘A jaw-dropping story, told deftly… a gripping, thought-provoking book.’ The Sunday Times
‘Freshly fascinating. [Lawton] is a particularly astute observer of the psychological dislocation caused by growing up mixed race… and she writes beautifully about questions of identity and belonging, so central to each of us in finding our particular place in the world.’ New York Times Book Review
‘A poignant and eye opening memoir…a nuanced and crucial dissection of race as a construct.’ Yomi Adegoke, co-author of Slay in Your Lane
‘A beautifully written account of an extraordinary story,
is as eye-opening as it is profound.’ Otegha Uwagba
A Guardian, Sunday Times, Evening Standard and Cosmopolitan book of the year for 2021
‘Ideas from our parents form the backbone to our identities, the bedrock to personal truths that we recite and remember like prayers from Church or poems from school. But they condition us in more powerful ways than lessons from any book or religion ever could. Now the tale had been destroyed. So what did that mean about who I thought I was?’
In Georgina Lawton’s childhood home, her Blackness was never acknowledged; the obvious fact of her brown skin, ignored by her white parents. Over time, secrets and a complex family story became accepted as truth and Georgina found herself complicit in the erasure of her racial identity.
It was only when her beloved father died that the truth began to emerge. Fleeing the shattered pieces of her family life and the comfortable, suburban home she grew up in, at age 22 Georgina went in search of answers – embarking on a journey that took her around the world, to the DNA testing industry, and to countless others, whose identities have been questioned, denied or erased.
What do you do when your heritage or parentage has been obscured in a complex web of deceit?
How can you discuss race with your family, when you each see the world differently?
When a personal identity has been wrongly constructed, how do you start again?
is both the compelling personal account of a young woman seeking her own story amid devastating family secrets, and a fascinating, challenging and essential examination of modern racial identity.
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