I definitely agree with the person who described this book as "epic in scope and beautifully rendered." Rachel Swarms was expecially adept in portraying the family members within their historical context, bringing alive not only these particular individuals but nameless others who shared their experiences.
I couldn't help thinking that this book is a special gift to the Obama daughters. But even if the subject had not been the family of a woman I admire and respect immensely, I would have appreciated reading about the various people who were uncovered in the book. It was fascinating to see how decades of family history were pieced together from records and memories that were often scanty.
On the down side, I had some difficulty following the chronology via audio. It was difficult to keep up with the generations, especally as the narrative is not linear but doubles back many times to pick up various strands. This audible selection should come with a pdf giving a graphic family tree and as many photos as possible.
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