Descendants is a series of essays chronicling Benowitz's life and family, but the book isn't just words. It embeds postcards, letters, autographs, images of women in uniform, and more in a delightfully whimsical blend that was both poignant and made me laugh out loud.

Each essay focuses on a different aspect or time period, and though all the essays are written with the same insight and incisive wit, every section is like opening a birthday present -- you know there will be something marvelous inside, but you have no idea what.

Some essays read like a thriller and sent shivers up my spine. Others made me want to throw my fist into the air in triumph with the narrator. Others left me laughing. One essay about the Vietnam draft and the concluding essay are achingly bittersweet.

My favorite aspect of this book was the irreverent and honest voice. It brings key events to life, spanning from WWII to now. And it made me laugh -- a lot!

So go read it already!


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