Nicole's Reviews > Guns and Gods in My Genes: A 15,000-mile North American Search Through Four Centuries, to the Mayflower

Guns and Gods in My Genes by Neill McKee
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it was amazing
bookshelves: memoir
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I had the chance to read Guns and Gods in My Genes by Neill McKee. So, if you have ever been curious about your own family history and ancestry, this is the book you need to add to your reading list. Like, right now. Go add it.

Author of the award-winning travel memoir Finding Myself in Borneo takes us on a journey through 400 years of family history that expands from Canada into the United States. He unearths unique stories and shares his own lens of examining his family history. You go step by step with him as he finds the various pieces of family history. It’s fascinating to read his insights and questions that may never get an answer.

While I’ve never seen myself as the type to pour over family history and ancestry records, author Neill McKee piqued my interest. The meditations sprinkled through the story really spoke to me. It’s when the author reflected on the various bits and pieces he learned and when he really draws close to his family ancestry. It gave me insights as to how important this journey was to the author. In one scene, he meditated alongside a river where an ancestor had been buried:

“Why did her daughter leave her here with strangers, by a river she hardly knew? I spoke to her, “Am I the only descendant son in the last 100 years who has visited your courage in this lonely place, this alien land?” But the only answer that came was the distant sound of rushing water.”

– Excerpt in Guns and Gods in My Genes by Neill McKee

This book may not be a beach read, but if you thrive off of details, and love hearing about history, you’ll love reading this book. What I love about memoirs no matter who it’s written by, is that you get the details you miss in the everyday life. That’s what I loved about Neill McKee’s book. You get the idiosyncrasies that you might miss in the day-to-day knowing of a person. You get the richness of getting close to someone’s family history.

Also, another bonus in this book is that there are pictures throughout! The author does a great job at capturing the various images of his family, important landmarks, and locations he visits.

Overall, this is a must-have book to add to your collection, especially if you love books about travel, history, genealogy, and family roots.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
Finished Reading
February 28, 2021 – Shelved
February 28, 2021 – Shelved as: memoir

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