Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming

notThis is an autobiography which reads like a novel, and an excellent one at that. Through parallel narratives of the past and present, Cumming describes his difficult childhood and the influence his father’s ire had on his adult life. The startling discoveries he makes about an ancestor through the BBC genealogy show ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ are matched with doubts and revelations in the present day.

Despite the darkness of some of the subject matter, Cumming’s voice is funny and brilliant. He is an endearing and talented writer, with a story worth telling. The central mysteries make it near-impossible to put down.

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