not my father's son

Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming

Honestly, I had very little knowledge of Alan Cumming before reading. 

Which is strange, really, given my depth of interest in all things English/Irish/Scottish. But I've never watched The Good Wife and though he seemed familiar, I didn't pick this memoir up because of his celebrity but rather because of the synopsis. 

I've my own reasons for relating to others who had difficult childhoods, and Cumming's story is one of those whose story tops (very easily topples) my own. His father was violent, unrepentant, confused, quite probably mentally ill. 

I loved how this read quite like a mystery - he has the storytelling gift of weaving the past with the current events in his life, along with the details of a television program he was doing about his mother's ancestry and the discovery of his maternal grandfather's difficult life. There are a couple of mysteries along the way, including the details of his grandfather's death, and the details of a secret his father shares, making it compulsively readable. 

 Steven Truman Gray

Steven Truman Gray

I also listened to it on audiobook, which Cumming naturally narrates, making the experience even richer.