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This review is from: Where Did You Sleep Last Night?: A Personal History (Hardcover)
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Danzy Senna has written a very dark and brooding book about the search for her family roots. Senna is the daughter of Boston blue bloods and poor southern blacks. As an accomplished writer, she could have written a book about her Boston family, which forms a who's who of Boston. Instead she travels to the South to look for the family she knows nothing about and at the same time learn about her estranged father.
The reader will learn about her views of her father, which are complicated in the least. Senna writes about the frustration of dealing with her father. He has a low opinion of white people, yet only dates white women. She writes about his reminding her about her heritage, but points out she will only be held down because of her heritage as he has blamed his own failures. In many ways he is a stereotype bum, and yet he is very educated and an author of some repute and is considered a success to his Southern family because he "got out".
Senna travels South to meet distant family, which some were glad and other distant. She uncovers a mystery to who her father's father was and this part of the story is moved along toward its own conclusion. She invites her father along and he agrees to go for a portion of the trip if she pays his way and hit her up for money when she takes him to the airport when he leaves for home.
The story is very moving and Senna does find some answers, but this is not what I would describe as a "happy" ending because she seems left with more questions. She seems to not to know her place in the world due to her upbringing and relationship with her father, which is odd because she has her own family and has become a writer with her own rising reputation. The only reason I do not give this a five start reading is something is missing from the book, yet I can't put my finger on it. Highly Recommended.