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By John-Paul Flintoff & HarrietH Green

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - THE GUIDE -

(GGuardian Faber Pub­lish­ing, 2162 pages, £12.99) ThisT book, de­scrib­ing it­self as “a hand­book for cre­ative dis­cov­ery”, pro­poses a unique ap­proach to re­search­ing fam­ily his­to­ries. It seems aimed at pro­vid­ing de­tailed in­for­ma­tion about the lives we live to­day for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, while also suit­ing those want­ing a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of their cur­rent and most re­cent fam­i­lies.

It would be in­ter­est­ing to use alone but is more ob­vi­ously in­tended to be the cat­a­lyst to col­lab­o­ra­tion with other fam­ily mem­bers.

There are pages to record ba­sic in­for­ma­tion, while it also in­tro­duces top­ics for dis­cus­sion and per­sonal views on sub­jects such as mem­o­ries, favourite books, places, hol­i­days and dream jobs, some very per­sonal, as­sisted by thought-pro­vok­ing quotes. The more risky sub­jects of feel­ings about other fam­ily mem­bers, fam­ily ar­gu­ments, se­crets and oth­ers are also in­tro­duced. Plenty of space is given to write in re­sponses, add pho­to­graphs and other items and it is ob­vi­ously in­tended as a very per­son­alised mem­oir of a fam­ily at a spe­cific time.

The pa­per­back for­mat does not strike me as be­ing the most prac­ti­cal. As it is es­sen­tially a work­book, it would have been more prac­ti­cal had it been spiral bound. In ad­di­tion, some words dis­ap­pear into the spine, though they can of­ten be suc­cess­fully guessed at.

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