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An unforgettable memoir about a family secret revealed by a DNA test, the lessons learned in its aftermath, and the indelible power of love—for readers of Wintering and Crying in H Mart.

The story of a long-held family secret, full of twists and turns, interwoven with a personal botanical history, Unearthing is a bold portrait of human relationships and a deeply thoughtful consideration of connection in our fragile and fractured world.

When a DNA test reveals that the father who raised her was not biologically related to her, Kyo Maclear becomes a detective in her own life, unravelling the mystery piece by piece in a search tied to the seasons, plant life, and the making of a garden.

Through its brief and beautifully composed chapters—each a portal—Maclear reflects on race and lineage, grief and loyalty, art and refuge, and the fierce and sometimes funny love between a mother and daughter, to tell a captivating and propulsive story of inheritance that goes beyond heredity.

What gets planted, and what gets buried? What role does storytelling play in unearthing the past and making sense of a life, particularly in the shadows of missed opportunities and failing memories? Can the act of tending a garden provide common ground, and even joy, for an inquisitive daughter and her reticent mother? As it seeks to answer these questions, Unearthing bursts with the very love it seeks to understand.

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