Bloodhound: Searching for My Father

Irresistible generous, warm and fearless Kerryn Goldsworthy Koval s accessibly written foray into the science of DNA and familial lineages, and what makes us who we are, is beautifully intertwined with her meditations on identity and belonging Koval also seamlessly blends first hand testimonies and documents from the war into her family history Books Publishi Irresistible generous, warm and fearless Kerryn Goldsworthy Koval s accessibly written foray into the science of DNA and familial lineages, and what makes us who we are, is beautifully intertwined with her meditations on identity and belonging Koval also seamlessly blends first hand testimonies and documents from the war into her family history Books PublishingRamona Koval s parents fled Poland and settled in Melbourne As a child, Koval learned little about their lives only snippets from traumatic tales of destruction and escape But she always suspected that the man who raised her was not her biological father.One day in the 1990s, long after her mother s death, she decided she must know the truth A phone call led to a photograph in the mail, then tea with strangers Before long Koval was interrogating a nursing home patient, meeting a horse whisperer in tropical Queensland, journeying to rural Poland, learning other languages, and dealing with Kafkaesque bureaucracy, all in the hope of finding an answer.A quest for identity recounted with Koval s customary humor, Bloodhound takes hold of the reader and never lets go It is a moving story of the terrible cost of war and of family secrets.Ramona Koval is a writer, journalist, broadcaster and editor From 2006 to 2011 she presented Radio National s Book Show, and she has written for the Age and the Australian In 1995, Ramona received the Order of Australia Media Award for her work on Radio National.
Bloodhound Searching for My Father Irresistible generous warm and fearless Kerryn Goldsworthy Koval s accessibly written foray into the science of DNA and familial lineages and what makes us who we are is beautifully intertwined wit

  • Title: Bloodhound: Searching for My Father
  • Author: Ramona Koval
  • ISBN: 9781922182760
  • Page: 313
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Bloodhound: Searching for My Father”

    1. Raw and powerful memoir. Koval finds herself confronted by the realisation that she really cannot be the child of her father at his 80th birthday celebrations. But where most children of difficult parents entertain the fantasy that the may be adopted or illegitimate at some time in their lives, in Koval's case, it may be true. Spurred on by her sudden, passionate epiphany, Koval determines to seek out her real father and determine her true parentage once and for all. What follows is a difficult [...]

    2. This could have been a good essay or radio piece, but was rambling and disjointed as a book. Koval's search for her real father is motivated by hints and suggestions that seem very vague, but mostly by an underlying dislike of her supposed father. The writing is unfocussed and the story drifts along in a bunch of different directions without really pulling things together. There's some interesting stuff about memory and trauma in there, but the overall framework of the book really doesn't work.

    3. Frustrating reading but not as frustrating as the author's search for her biological father after years of reflecting that she did not look anything like her sister nor like her father. She was relentless in her search and some of her ventures to possible relatives sound positively Dickensian. What a pity her mother took her secrets to her early grave.

    4. I found the narrator and her existential crisis a bit hard to identify with and disagreed with the emphasis she placed on the importance of blood relationship - though I suppose I should have realised that we'd have differing views on what makes a family, given the title. When she started musing about the characteristics she might have inherited from a thousands' year dead corpse dug out of an ice block, I almost put the book down and was equally irritated when she bemoaned "losing" the sister s [...]

    5. You can definitely feel and read Koval's career or literary background in this book. Her thirst for answers, searching in every nook and cranny, and not leaving any stone unturned. Even stones that have nothing to do with anything at all.It isn't just her quest to find out who her father is, it is also the search for answers in her parents, and would be parents past. Learning about their personal journeys before, during and after the Holocaust.The way people, who have lived through the Holocaust [...]

    6. Australian journalist and writer Ramona Koval, the child of Holocaust survivors from Poland, is at her father's 80th birthday party when she decides to pursue and explore the difficult terrain of her true paternity. This leads her on an inconclusive, but interesting quest into her family's past. This book explores a lot of compelling ideas, in particular, the painful experience of encouraging Holocaust survivors, most of whom probably have serious untreated post-traumatic stress disorder, to rel [...]

    7. Ramona Koval always suspected that the man who raised her was not her biological father. At 45 years of age she embarks on a journey to find out the true story of her parentage, a journey that would take over a decade and many twists and turns.Her parents are both survivors of the Holocaust. Ramona's mother died before she could share her story, and before she formulated the questions for her identity, and her relationship with her father was always fraught.This memoir has been likened to a dete [...]

    8. Romana Koval herself describes her journey through her searching to know and understand the background of her family as a winding course. Her parents are survivors of the Holocaust from Poland and settle in Melbourne, Australia. At her father’s 80th birthday party she reflects on how little she looks like him and how little she likes him and so commences her search to find out whether he is her biological father or not. While her mother died a lot early, Romana also pursues what she can and fe [...]

    9. I read this very quickly, so it was obviously quite easy to read and carried me along. Anyone who is a keen explorer of family history will relate to Koval's story. It does become all consuming, and when it relates directly to your parentage, I can imagine the desire to understand where you come from and who you are related to and how it all came about is quite obsessive, especially when time is ticking away, and your mother, who could have enlightened you and is at the centre of the mystery, is [...]

    10. This is the story of Ramona Koval's search for the truth about who her biological father is. I was not familiar with Ms. Koval prior to reading the book, as I'm an American. She is a well-known public radio figure in Australia. Ms. Koval always felt different in her family, and had wondered from a young age about whether her father was truly her biological father. After a couple of events in her adult life, she began to investigate. She tried to go about this in a way that was kind and respectfu [...]

    11. Currently I've been reading a number of memoirs, looking at the techniques used.I've always admired Ramona Koval as an ABC radio arts journalist as she draws intriguing stories out of her subjects. Even if a family history does not provide the desired answers, the actual quest can be structured as a satisfying tale for the reader who may not be familiar with that world.Koval's DNA research techniques are interesting in Bloodhound but this historical detective story has many hypothetical links ,t [...]

    12. I read this book after attending a talk by given by the author, Ramona Koval, at a Melbourne Writer's Festival event last year. Ramona's discussion of the events leading up to her writing the story piqued my interest. I'm always intrigued by stories of people who search for knowledge of their family background, and of the amazing things they find. Unfortunately, probably most of the interesting aspects of the book were covered by Ramona in her talk, and there were quite a few tedious chapters of [...]

    13. I really wanted to like this book more than I did. Ramona Koval is an Australian writer and journalist whom I very much admire, but I felt that she just didn’t manage to make her quest to find out more about her past as interesting and as absorbing to the reader as it obviously was to herself. The child of Holocaust survivors, she discovers that perhaps her father isn’t actually her biological father and sets out to discover the truth about her paternity, and at the same time, her Polish ide [...]

    14. Ramona Koval, an Australian writer delves into her family history to try and find out who her father was. She had always suspected that the father she grew up knowing was not her real father, but has never been able to question her parents about it. Her mother died when Ramona was in her early twenties, and her father dissolves into tears when questioned about the past. Her parents were both Holocaust survivors and did not want to talk about their history. Ramona talks to old family friends, tra [...]

    15. The authors' search for information on her biological father starts when she believes she doesn't look like him or have a connection with him. Her Mother and Father don't talk much about their experiences during WWII, and she finds out bit by bit who her father might be. Or does it? Her Father, or how the author writes of him, is loathsome. But then again, the people she believes just might be her biological father are just as loathsome. Very disjointed book. A journey that the author felt she m [...]

    16. An engrossing read. I finished it in two sessions. Documents Ramona's struggle to find out if the father she had known was actually her biological father, and if not, who he might be. Taking us through a trip to Poland, to Queensland to investigate a possible brother, through the process of DNA testing, to interviews with her mother's old friends and workmates, we discover a complex scenario with many possibilities. It is a book of great honesty, she states how she felt at her father's funeral t [...]

    17. A strange book in some ways. It kind of didn't go anywhere. It was really odd how she just assumed her dad was not her dad. And really strange that she just assumed this particular other man was her dad without any evidence. And also that she actually went around telling people that this man was probably her father including his sons. And went to Poland also proclaiming the story without any evidence. And The story meandered over 20 years without really getting anywhere. Interesting but just a b [...]

    18. Broad ranging in its aspects. Tragic, dramatic as Ramona tries to find her own history from the ashes of World War II Poland to the settlement of Jew's in Australia. I enjoyed the DNA section and the evidence of various cultural groups through Europe to the Silk Road and beyond. As a genealogist of many years I can relate to the brick walls and spelling errors that can frustrate research. Glad the writing style moved as the text evolved.

    19. A fascinating and confronting memoir about how where (and who) we come from shapes so much of our identity and sense of self can be a shock to lift up a carpet and see how much has been swept under there. Ramona Koval writes beautifully and this is a compelling tale where you feel like you're finding out everything with her.

    20. Interesting but the author seems to make a lot of assumptions regarding her parentage. Whilst not Jewish my parents were taken by force to Germany as laborers in the early part of the war. Consequently my mother was unable to find her family after the war so I can sympathize with the author's need and drive for information regarding her roots.

    21. I ditched this book after ten pages. I thought it was sloppy and badly written. The author seemed to assume because her parents were Holocaust survivors and she had a family secret to unload, her story would automatically be interesting. A series of disconnected, mildly interesting anecdotes doesn't equal a book.

    22. Documents an obsession of the author to locate her biological father. It seems she has delayed publishing her story until many potential biological forebears and other older relatives have died. This personal story seems to lack a more general appeal. Competently written .

    23. Ramona Koval is such a good writer and this book really flowed. Her exploration into her personal heritage resonated with me. I also felt her anguish about the implications of what she uncovered. I was also fascinated with her desire to reconnect with her Polish heritage.

    24. Whilst this book rambles a bit, it is a lovely read. There are so many things to consider in such a journey and Ramona gives her perspective in a quirky but thought provoking way.

    25. Engaging, interesting but meanders a bit and doesn't reach a conclusive end, but it was well written enough to spark more research.

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