Sunday, December 21, 2014

Genealogy Novel: Finding Eliza

Genealogy: Novel
I download a lot of e-books to read on my iPad using the Kindle app. While I read all kinds of genres including nonfiction, romance, historical fiction, self-help, etc., my main criteria is that they need to be free. (Ok, I admit it...I'm cheap!) But when I heard about this book, Finding Eliza, I knew I had to read it and was willing to pay. And it was still a bargain since it only cost $3.

This novel was written by Stephanie Pitcher Fishman, who is a professional genealogist and one of the founders of the The In-Depth Genealogist blog. She also writes research guides for Legacy Family Tree.

Finding Eliza is a gripping book involving a "forgotten" relative, a diary, and another reminder of America's troubling history with racial hatred. It's the story of Lizzie and her Grandma Gertrude, who learn the truth about a long-forgotten relative, Eliza. There are sections which take you back to the 1930s in Georgia, based on entries from a diary written by Gertrude's father.

Although on the periphery of the story's main messages, I couldn't help but notice that the novel shows how younger generations are often uninterested in genealogy, how others can't get enough of it, how families often hide from shameful stories, and how you can't help but be affected when learning some details about your ancestors.

If you have some free time over the holidays, it may be the perfect time to grab this book and curl up on the couch for an enjoyable read.

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