A Dual Inheritance, by Joanna Hershon: Review & Giveaway

Before I read A Dual Inheritance, I had never heard of dual inheritance theory.  Apparently, it's a real thing, defined by Wikipedia as "a theory developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s to explain how human behavior is a product of two different and interacting evolutionary processes: genetic evolution and cultural evolution."

Although the dual inheritance theory is mentioned at the beginning of the book, I didn't really think of it much while I was reading.  It is more in retrospect that I see exactly how Hershon wove the concept into the story.  I do think it's a perfect title...plus, it just sounds nice:  A Dual Inheritance

This book totally captivated me from the very beginning.  It's what I like to call an epic story--there's not one huge thing that happens, it's not even necessarily plot-driven.  This is a very character-driven book, and it covers decades, continents, and generations with its characters. 

Ed and Hugh meet one night during their senior year at Harvard, beginning the most unlikely of friendships.  Ed is a slightly hard-edged Jewish student, attending Harvard on scholarship.  He has big dreams and big plans and is determined to make a better life for himself.  Hugh, on the other hand, is from an "old money" family, a member of the envied Boston elite.  Despite all his advantages, Hugh is restless and reluctant to follow the path set out for him.  A Dual Inheritance is the story of these two men, the stages of their friendship (budding, thriving, and then non-existent), and the unexpected effects they have on one another and the lives they each choose to build.

I can't say enough how much I truly enjoyed this book.  From the characterizations to the changing landscapes, to the depiction of the relationships, I thought it was all just fantastically well done.  I recommend reading this one over a long weekend when you can let yourself be truly engrossed in the story...trust me, you won't want to put it down!


The publisher, Ballantine Books, has offered a copy of this book to one reader.  To enter, just leave a comment on this post and tell me the last book you really loved.  Be sure to leave an email address if I don't already have yours, so that I will have a way to contact the winner.  At the publisher's request, this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  

The giveaway will be open through Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. central time. 

I received a copy of this book for review via TLC Book Tours and the publisher.  All opinions expressed are entirely my own.  For more reviews, check out the full tour post.


  1. Last book I read and loved was by Emily Giffin. I actually love all get books so hard to pick a favorite.


  2. Welllll........I haven't read anything in a really long time. How about any book by Rachel Gibson? Does that count?

  3. Wow, this sounds like a fabulous read! I'm glad to see how much you enjoyed it!

    Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.


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