Sunday, 14 July 2013

Book Review: The Juggler's Children

Title: The Juggler's Children: A Journey into Family, Legend and the Genes that Bind Us 
Author:  Carolyn Abraham.
400 Pages
23.2 x 15.8 x 4.2 cm
Source NotesIndexPublished by Random House Canada (Mar 26 2013)ISBN-10: 0679314598 ISBN-13: 978-0679314592
As a child, award winning Globe and Mail science journalist Carolyn Abraham was confused about her multi-racial ancestry. This compelling tale of her and her family's search for their roots weaves the personal with the research aspects of the journey as she sets out to clarify convoluted paternal and maternal origins with the aid of DNA. 
The research develops over six years, from 2002 to 2008, and two family international trips. It's a period which has seen rapid change in genetic genealogy. Starting with a low resolution autosomal test by a company now out of business then expending a lot of effort working with Y-DNA, she even gets to the stage of contemplating exhumation of a supposed ancestor. Today, and as recently described by Roberta Estes, one of the people she consulted, there is likely no need to "dig up dad" when autosomal tests from 23andMe or Family Tree DNA will likely meet the need. 
So although this is a story well told, and displays an enviable talent in explaining the science in simple terms, the specific DNA approach used is now rather dated

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