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Mirkat Always Reading

I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.

Not My Father's Son

Not My Father's Son: A Memoir (Audio) - Alan Cumming




I mostly knew Alan Cumming from his role as Eli Gold on The Good Wife, though also from assorted other roles, such as Sandy Frink in Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion. Listening to his self-narrated audiobook, I realized I didn't remember ever hearing him speak in his native Scottish accent.  It took me a moment to adjust--in a good way.


In 2010, Cumming was invited to be on the show Who Do You Think You Are?  He agreed, and the family mystery they chose to investigate was the fate Tom Darling, Cumming's maternal grandfather.  After having served in Japan in WWII, Darling had never come home.  He ultimately died under mysterious circumstances in Malaysia.  As he was going through preparations with the producers of the show, Cumming's father dropped a bombshell on him--something Cumming wasn't sure whether to believe.


The narrative alternates between "then" and "now."  The chapters that are set in the past convey memories of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of Cumming's brutal father.  Those memories lay dormant for some time, coming to a head when Cumming and his then-wife were trying to become parents. 


The mystery explored via the show Who Do You Think You Are? is interwoven in the narrative with another mystery related to the bombshell Cumming's father drops on him.  Whether the claim is true or not, it will have ramifications that affect the entire family.


Cumming tells his story simply and movingly.  Recommended.