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Book Review – Not My Father’s Son – Alan Cumming

“One of the most memorable, heart-stopping autobiographies I have ever read” – Stephen Fry

Alan Cumming grew up in the grasp of a man who held his family hostage, someone who spewed out violence with a frightening ease, who fought a silent war with himself that often spilled over onto all around him. That man, was Alan’s father, Alex Cumming.

Alex was the dark, unfathomable heart of Cumming family life. However, he was not the only mystery. Alan’s maternal grandfather, Tommy Darling, vanished to the Far East after the Second World War. The last time Alan’s mother saw him she was eight years old. When she was thirteen, the family was told that he had died in an accidental shooting. Intrigued to explore this second mystery, Alan dedicated himself to filming an episode of the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?

Out of nowhere, his father, who Alan and his brother had not seen or talked to for more than a decade, called. He had a secret to share, one that would shake his son to his very being and set in motion a trip that would change Alan’s life forever.

At times gripping, at times truly emotional, but always courageous and true, Not My Father’s Son is a powerful story about accepting the best facets of the past and proudly pushing the darkness away.

“In beautiful, arresting prose, he offers a tale you’ll never forget. A real diamond of a book.” – Andrew O’Hagan

Available online and in book stores

Received 4 stars out of 5 on Waterstones

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