Shadows in Our Bones

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
310 Pages
Reviewed on 05/08/2021
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Tamara Merrill has three happy places; reading, writing and painting. When she was a child, she thought she’d grow up to live in a loft in Manhattan and spend her time doing all three. Tamara hasn’t done that but she does live in a lovely place, Coronado, CA. And, Tamara does read, write and paint.
During the 60’s and 70’s, Tamara published multiple short stories in the popular women’s magazines of that era. But then the need for cash intervened and she took a “real job” and stopped writing fiction. Fortunately for readers of literary fiction she is writing again.
Tamara’s newest book, Shadows in our Bones, is historical fiction. Based on, real people and real events, this book explores the impact that a racial incident in Maine, 1912, has had on the descendants and on society even until today. DNA testing, racial tension, family dynamics, and eugenics are all examined in this award-winning read.
Tamara is also known for the Augustus Family Trilogy - a family saga that evolves over time from 1937 to 1980. FAMILY LIES 1937-1944, FAMILY MATTERS 1944-1960, and FAMILY MYTHS 1960-1980. Her short stories appear in anthologies and on line.
Tamara is available to speak at book clubs, writers and readers events, and teaches writing skills in the adult education arena. Learn more about Tamara at: Follow her on Faceback TamaraMerrillAuthor or on Instagram @tmerrillauthor

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

In Shadows in Our Bones by Tamara Merrill, Georgia O’Brien is a thirty-four-year-old professor who is very outspoken when it comes to issues of racial prejudice. When her mother is diagnosed with cancer, she begins a journey that will trace her lineage that she had long believed to be white and Irish. Her mother’s disease is progressing more rapidly than expected, and as a bone marrow transplant is being considered, Georgia must trace her family tree for a suitable cell donor. Surprisingly, they find an African-American donor to be the best match. Sadly, Georgia’s mother fails to recover, but Georgia gets in touch with the donor, whom she learns is a distant cousin whose descendants come from Malaga Island. Georgia digs deeper and stumbles upon the records of a teacher on Malaga Island named Cora Lane. As discovering one’s lineage is an important part of the human experience, Georgia will come to embrace what she learns about her true identity.

Based on a disturbing episode in American history that merits attention, Shadows in Our Bones by Tamara Merrill is a tale about roots, racial prejudice, and eugenics. The flashback narratives about the Malagaites and Cora Lane serve well to heighten Georgia’s quest about her roots. Tamara Merrill generously provides the references that she used for your further reading. Her thorough research has resulted in a sincere and well-crafted narrative that teaches anyone how it is always important to look back into the past so that we never forget. Shadows in Our Bones will remain eternally relevant, for despite that a growing number of people are becoming more enlightened about the evils of prejudice, there are still those who look at ethnicity as a measuring stick in determining the degree of treatment they will accord to others. If this novel does not open your eyes to the truth about race and identity, then no story on the subject ever will.