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The Milkman's Son: A Memoir of Family History, a DNA Mystery, and a Story of Paternal Love

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  318 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Raised in a family he bore little resemblance to, Randy was jokingly referred to as "the milkman’s son."  This warm and candid memoir chronicles the unraveling of a family secret, which begins with Randy’s dad having dreams about deceased relatives urging him to complete their family tree. Randy agrees to help with the genealogy, but after his searching leads to a dead end ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Shadow Mountain
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Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs
This is probably going to be the last memoir I ever read by someone who discovers one or both of their parents aren’t their biological parents. All these books start sounding alike, including this one; although I thought it might possibly be different when the author’s siblings laughed when he told them their father wasn’t his father, and his wife acted nonchalant about the matter. Maybe this memoir would be more lighthearted and less forlorn than other similar memoirs. But, alas, not too long a ...more
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
DNF at 30%

I think there have been too many memoirs I liked until now, getting my hopes up (even if I don't read them that often, I usually like them, a lot). This one seemed promising. Where you come from is kind of a big deal, right?

It didn't do it for me this time. Starting with the father asking Lindsay to find out their geneology, because of a dream, and the reaction was 'Oh well. 'Kay then,' to him finding the strange results, writing and repeating it must be a mistake. And then it wasn't,
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was very excited to read this book, but I never realized how deeply Randy Lindsay's experience would affect me and draw me into his story. This book is packed full of emotions that the reader feels right along with the author. The thought of finding out your father is not your biological father was nothing short but life-changing for the author. His personal story is delivered in a humorous but also very loving way. There were many moments when you realized how one little thing, such as a DNA ...more
Jill Meyer
May 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Author Randy Lindsay, who is well known for his science fiction novels, has written a memoir, “The Milkman’s Son”. The book is the result of finding out at the age of 57 that he is not the son of the father who raised him.

Lindsay, who lives in Phoenix, is contacted by a woman in New Jersey who has also been active on Ancestry and tells him that her father is his father. The rest of the book is about Randy’s worries about telling his Phoenix family that he’s part of an entirely different family
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have a hard time reading memoirs. They tend to lean toward a slower paced story that I struggle to dive into. Then add family history into the mix and I was sure it would be a bomb. Hence why I was skeptical about this one, and the couple of chapters had me wondering what I had gotten myself into. However, I should have known better with Randy Lindsay as the other. The few times I've met him has been interesting. You never know where the conversation will go and I always left a conversation (w ...more
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s not very often that you find a non-fiction book that reads like a novel. But this one by Randy Lindsay did. I found myself hooked to this book from the very beginning. And I loved every bit of it.

Randy Lindsay was often referred to by his family as “The Milkman’s Son.” But it wasn’t until he was 57 years old that he found out, through DNA testing that his father was not his biological father. I loved the way he tells his story. He tells the facts, what happened. But he also tells how he fel
Amy McPherson
Apr 24, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. A good storyline, but way too many unnecessary details in the first half of the book. And several times he says things that paint his wife in a bad light- Unsupportive and not emotionally there for him, then at the very end of the book he is missing her and going back to her after a visit with his biological family in the east.
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I usually love memoirs and biographies because they can be written in such a personal way. In many way, this story was extremely personal, but there were a few things that kept me from fully enjoying this as a memoir.

First, I will say that Randy Lindsay is an incredibly talented writer. The way that he phrased different events and the words he used helped me to picture what was happening so much better. I could tell that his passion lies in writing fiction, and reading his memoir really made me
May 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Janessa
Recommended to Megan by: Deseret Book
I really love a good DNA mystery story. And right before I started reading this, I discovered a cousin that no one knew about. My Uncle had had an affair and produced this child back in 1981 that he didn't know about. And evidently she--the cousin didn't know that my Uncle was her father until she recently took a DNA test.
Randy starts his story by trying to do some family history for his father whose dead ancestors keep coming to him at night. At a certain point, Randy gets stuck on finding his
Mar 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a very human look at the impacts of technology old (genealogical research) and new (DNA testing) on one man's idea of who he was and who his family was.

I'm actually pretty split on this memoir. I found the plot and the concept really engaging. In terms of things I liked less,(view spoiler)
Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was so interesting. I am fascinated by genealogy and family history, and this book was all of that and more. The first half of the book was okay, but I didn’t get really into the book until Randy connected with his siblings and went to New Jersey for the first time.

How heartbreaking it must be for everyone involved - I can’t imagine all the different feelings that came up, for Randy, for his mother, for the siblings that he was raised with and his other set of siblings, and for his tw
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
I'm glad that I saw my sister-in-law had read this book and enjoyed it. I also enjoyed it. I think it's a lovely story and realistic. Everyone who discovers a DNA mystery will have a different experience. I enjoyed reading about the author's experience and those around him in his "new" family. I agree with the author that "It is the love we share that makes us family." ...more
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was fascinated with this book! I am a fan of family skeleton's in the closet, so I loved the concept of finding a family secret within a DNA test. Told in such a compelling way, you will want to read to the very end. I highly recommend this book! ...more
Feb 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Loved the story and the hunt, but the repeating of emotions over and over got a little tiresome.
Kathy Levario
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully written.

I have had my own DNA surprise later in life, sadly not with the same result. I am happy for the writer, everyone has a story to tell, and many of us in the NPE world are grateful for those with a happier ending than our own. It helps to have feelings and experiences to compare ours to.
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Randy took dna test to help research the Lindsay family for his father. When he gets the results he finds his father for fifty seven years is not his biological father. For years he was jokingly called the milkman’s son as he was so different from everyone in his family; now it’s no longer a joke to him. A new search is now on for him.
Kat Ayres
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a genetic genealogist, Randy’s story is all too familiar to me. So many of my clients have similar stories. Few, however, have one that turns out as beautifully as Randy’s did. The way Randy and his new family members meshed and joined is simply beautiful and magical. I really enjoyed reading the story from his perspective, and I hope he gets to get out to visit them a whole lot more often WHEN this book becomes a success. Thank you to Randy for sharing his family’s story with us, and thank y ...more
First sentence: The dastardly thing about a life-changing event is that it can disguise itself as a normal day.

Premise/plot: Randy Lindsay grew up being called 'the Milkman's son' because he looked nothing like his siblings--all younger. But he never suspected that his dad wasn't his biological father. When his father asks him to do genealogical research and record the family tree, he didn't know that it would end up changing his life. The project started out as research, a side-project. He soon
Nancy Erdmann
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


As the author of this memoir writes, there is now a true DNA revolution all over the U.S. which is shining light, in many cases, on family secrets considered better left untold.

This author is a professional writer, mostly in the genres of fantasy and science fiction. He loves stories, but when he finds out that his dad isn’t his biological dad, he isn’t sure that he wants to hear that story.

The memoir follows the writer as he eventually comes to joyous term
reviewed for LJ
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Randy Lindsay, on a quest to find his genealogy via, uncovers more than he ever expected when he learns through DNA testing that his dad is not his biological father. He has half-siblings living on the other side of the country, who happily embrace him as family.

This type of memoir is bound to become abundant as DNA testing is becoming more popular; Inheritance by Dani Shapiro is a bestselling memoir with similar story, and Lindsay even mentions that most people know someone who’s d
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. And I thought I would like it more so I was pretty bummed. The idea of finding outv hrough DNA testing that your dad is not your biological father is fascinating to me. I know it's going to be more and more common but right now it seems fairly new to me so it makes a great story.
Unfortunately I felt like this story would have been better as a novel. The dialogue was awkward. There were several parts of the story where I lost interest and got bo
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you NetGalley for the free ARC. When ancestry research gives you more information than you were ready for. An account of how one son finds his father. This does seem to happen quite a bit. I took a class where we got our DNA analyzed and one of the participants, who knew he was adopted, found a half sister. The message would be: be ready for anything (especially if are the Golden State Killer).
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone thinking of doing a DNA test
Reading this book almost makes me want to do a DNA test . . . almost. But I won’t. Not because I’m concerned about surprises, but because I know that I’m definitely my parents’ child, as are my siblings. Also, I have little belief that even a DNA test could trace my family further back than, maybe, three generations. My parents were without doubt my grandparents’ children.

For me, doing a DNA test is not a thing. In this book, it wasn’t the author’s thing, either. He didn’t take his DNA test loo
Teenage Reads
Apr 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Adults
Shelves: 2020, books-i-own
Due to the different nature as a youth, and his dark hair compared to his sibling's fair hair, Randy was nicknamed “the milkman’s son” insinuating that his father was not his biological father. Being the oldest of his siblings, Randy took their jokes and mockery of him, and carried it into adulthood, never really stopping to think why he looked so different from his siblings. After all, he was no genealogist but a writer and preferred to live in his world of make-believe than to learn more
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
I saw this in a local catalog and thought it looked interesting. I have a friend that works as a professional genealogist, and she has shared wonderful stories of finding family for people through DNA research. When I got it from the library I realized that I had ordered the audio book. That was both a good & bad thing. The good - the narrator was good to listen to and his reading style added some dimension to an otherwise flat story. The bad - I couldn't really skip ahead to get to the end.

Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the uncorrected proof of The Milkman’s Son by Randy Lindsay. I received this book in exchange for a fair review.
When I first read the synopsis for The Milkman’s Son, I was intrigued immediately. My mother-in-law is a genealogy buff and has been working on her own family tree for many years. I was interested to see how Randy Lindsay navigated his own family tree and DNA search.
Randy Lindsay was approached by his father and asked to investiga
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
The writing style in the book was conversational, informal, like you were sitting down with the author and he was telling you his story. This is Randy Lindsay’s story of how he found out, late in life, that the man who raised him wasn’t his biological dad. With more people taking DNA tests alongside genealogy research, more situations like this are being discovered. Families are more complex than we thought. In the past unmarried women were socially frowned upon so strongly that secrets about pa ...more
Jun 12, 2020 rated it liked it
The author tells of his journey of finding out who he really is. People always referred to him as the "Milkman's Son" since he never looked like the rest of his family as he was growing up in Arizona.

As the author was searching out his father's lineage on the family tree, he decided to also take a DNA test. He encouraged his father to also, though he didn't until later. Through this test, he found out the man he thought was his father and raised him was not his father at all. Because of this te
Mar 11, 2020 rated it liked it
I haven’t gotten the genealogy bug yet, but a few years ago I took my kids to the family history library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and it was fun going through the stations and seeing the map light up with where our ancestors came from. The Christmas after that my husband and I gave my parents DNA kits from I was exited to see their results, but it didn’t bring up any surprises since a lot of their family history has been done. I suppose it was just additional confirmation to what w ...more
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RANDY LINDSAY is a world traveler. Which sounds impressive until you realize the worlds he visits exist only in his mind and on the pages of his novels. He claims to prefer this method of sightseeing because he can stop at any time, go to the kitchen, and indulge his ice cream addiction. When he isn't busy making things up he likes going to movies with his wife to watch what other people have made ...more

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