cover image The Family Gene: A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance into a Hopeful Future

The Family Gene: A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance into a Hopeful Future

Joselin Linder. Ecco, $28.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-237889-7

Linder (New York Post and Morning Edition) delivers a moving and deft account of her journey to unearth a diagnosis of the mysterious family gene that caused her father’s and six other relatives’ untimely deaths. In this fascinating journey, she seamlessly moves from instructing on complicated genomic science to revealing the relatable follies of her 20s, never shedding wit or humor. She eloquently tells the story of her father’s protracted battle with a mystery illness that led to his painful and courageous search for medical answers. Once Linder starts to develop similar symptoms she continues his quest. She consults medical experts and genomic specialists who revel in the wonders, intricacies, and unsolved mysteries of genetic science. She is able to write deftly about medicine with the same casualness and verve she devotes to stories of aimless romance and the ennui of her mid-20s. With compassion and a keen eye, she digs into her family history, medical history, and contemporary genetic science. Lessons on DNA and the significance of X chromosomes in passing genes are woven into Linder’s intimate look at her ongoing struggle to stay alive. She expertly balances the serious and often tragic with an indefatigable charm and warmth. This book is a wonderful blend of reflections on coming of age, medicine, and what it means to live against all odds. (Mar.)