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Genetic Linkage

Novels ‘All About Evie’ and ‘The Family Upstairs’ illustrate how DNA tests can reveal ‘dark secrets’, from rape to unknown siblings

I recently read two works of fiction, "All About Evie" and "The Family Upstairs," that touch on the issue of defining family. The plots inadvertently echo current concerns over the possible fallout from unexpected consumer DNA ancestry testing results.

 

Each book is a multi-generational saga blooming with secrets and surprises. But one novel uses DNA testing to reveal relationships and the other doesn't.

 

My unplanned reading of one after the other served as a metaphor of sorts for the fallout from receiving a DNA surprise. The ending of the book based on the DNA test was abrupt and seemed contrived, much as discovering an insta-family can be. The ending of the book that slowly uncovered secrets as relatives recognized each other and connected was satisfying and rang true.

 

To continue reading, go to Genetic Literacy Project, where this post first appeared.

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