In her crisply written, deeply informed memoir, The Family Gene, Joselin Linder captures the dread and fatigue that accompanies such an odyssey, how it ripples out to engulf multiple branches of a family ... Linder evokes the twists and turns of Seidman’s yearslong investigation with a wry wit and flair ... Like any memoir, The Family Gene detours into details of the author’s personal life. Linder occasionally indulges herself with vexing romances and beer-soaked misadventures as she roams from city to city after her father’s death. Less might have been more here. But her underlying insight is revelatory ... The Family Gene nails this truth in a clear, honest voice, an invaluable addition to the literature that dramatizes severe illness and its impact.
It is this lack of sentiment that, in part, makes The Family Gene both congenial and engaging, despite the long shadow of a broken gene ... The Family Gene is occasionally beset by incorrect explanations of the science ... In the end, [this] stories are less about didactic scientific explanations or transcendent language and more about how human beings respond to immensely challenging ailments that we don’t understand very well if at all.
...In this fascinating journey, she seamlessly moves from instructing on complicated genomic science to revealing the relatable follies of her 20s, never shedding wit or humor ... This book is a wonderful blend of reflections on coming of age, medicine, and what it means to live against all odds.