Hamburg's Hybrids

Non-Fiction - Biography
332 Pages
Reviewed on 09/22/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Hamburg’s Hybrids by Sarah Flit Thomas is the story of how one family secret could change the lives of everyone when it is exposed at the wrong moment. The Langley family was unaware of something monumental as they prepared for the wedding of Bria, daughter of Edwin Langley. Edwin didn’t know that his daughter’s big day was about to be overshadowed by his late father, William Langley. William left specific orders for his attorney to deliver some terrible news at Bria’s wedding to his daughter-in-law, Jennifer. Jennifer, a civil attorney, was given the burden to reveal the information to her family. How would she protect her children from the chaos that would ensue when the secret to their heritage was revealed?

I was not expecting to like Hamburg’s Hybrids as much as I did. I will not reveal the secret; you need to read the book to learn it. Emotions ran high, and sometimes the characters were frustrated as well. Edwin got the shock of his life while Jennifer was horrified, and to say their worldview shifted would be an understatement. Author Sarah Flit Thomas did a fantastic job of keeping the shock factor real. It was fascinating to see how a rich family completely lost it when their deceased patriarch released all the skeletons from the closet. I enjoyed the narrative style; it wasn’t personal, but it was intriguing. The descriptions were fantastic and made it easy for me to look for clues as the Langleys scrambled to make sense of what happened. The pace was perfect, the development of the story was great, and read was interesting. I would highly recommend this book!

K.C. Finn

Hamburg's Hybrids is a work of historical family saga and interpersonal drama. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Sarah ‘Flit’ Thomas. This captivating tale revolves around the Langley family's discovery of their hidden biological history. Edwin Langley's deceased father, William Langley, former owner of a renowned corporation, reveals the truth about their race and ethnicity on his granddaughter Bria's wedding day. Jennifer Langley, an acclaimed civil attorney and Edwin's wife, is tasked with reviewing the document and discussing its contents with her family.

Author Sarah ‘Flit’ Thomas unravels the family's history with great enthusiasm and confident narration and reveals the intricacies of their ancestry in a nicely paced work that is easy to follow and very enjoyable. The emotional turmoil experienced by Jennifer Langley upon receiving the document is palpable, as the joyous wedding day is overshadowed by the revelation through lots of intriguing dialogue. The genealogical account woven throughout the narrative adds depth and context, making the story engaging and immersive and all the more realistic and resonant for it. The author successfully navigates the themes of heritage and identity with sensitivity and authenticity, creating a narrative that delves into the complexities of heritage and the impact of revelations on the lives of the characters. It is a book that will leave readers reflecting on the significance of their own roots and family stories. Overall, I would certainly recommend Hamburg's Hybrids for fans of deeply-considered characters, family ties, and intricately-woven surprises.

Parul Sood

Hamburg's Hybrids by Sarah Flit Thomas is a historical work that explores family dynamics, personal identity, and the discovery of long-buried family secrets. The story centers around the Langley family, whose lives take a dramatic turn when they receive a mysterious package containing a confession about their family's past. Our protagonist is Edwin Langley the patriarch of the family, whose late father, William Langley, was once the CEO of a well-known company. William leaves behind a document that completely changes how the family identifies themselves. This revelation comes on the day of the oldest granddaughter Bria's wedding, adding even more drama to an already emotionally charged event. The book skillfully explores the contrast between the family's outward appearance of wealth and success and the underlying dysfunction within.

In Hamburg's Hybrids, Sarah Flit Thomase effectively develops the characters, allowing readers to connect with their struggles and emotions. Jennifer Langley, an accomplished civil attorney, faces a challenging situation as she must review the document and discuss its contents with her husband and children. Her inner turmoil is relatable, and readers will empathize with her journey of emotions. One of the book's strengths is its detailed family history, shedding light on the complex relationships within the Langley family, especially the mysterious first wife of William Langley and her connection to their son. The story unfolds gradually, revealing hidden family secrets one layer at a time, keeping readers eagerly turning pages in search of more revelations. The author's vivid descriptions transport readers to the time and place where the story unfolds. The characters come to life, making it easy for readers to form a personal connection with them. Hamburg's Hybrids is a gripping tale that invites readers to explore the intricacies of the Langley family's past while also reflecting on the complexity of their own family histories.

Nino Lobiladze

The powerful Langley family celebrates the wedding of Bria, the daughter of William Edwin Langley III and Jennifer Dusett-Langley. That's when Jennifer receives an important package from her father-in-law, the late William Langley Sr. It includes documents regarding the Langley family's ethnic origin and a secret scientific project of Adolph Hamburg, who studied hybrids in South Carolina back in the nineteenth century. Rosita Elena Hamburg-Petersen-Smyth, or Rosa, runs the household operations of the Langley estate and keeps her own secrets. She was close with William Sr., but Jennifer was still shocked to see her photo in the package. How is she connected to the Langley family? And what other mysteries does the package hold? Hamburg's Hybrids by Sarah "Flit" Thomas is a book for fans of family drama, character-driven books, and psychological prose.

Hamburg's Hybrids is a compelling read with promising character development and a bittersweet flavor of family mystery. Sarah "Flit" Thomas clearly defines the emotional connections between the characters and looks at the motives of their actions from different angles. Onnie Dusett is my favorite among the characters in Hamburg's Hybrids. Sarah describes her from a historical perspective during different stages of her life. Onnie's inner strength, wisdom, and sincerity are very appealing, and her dramatic rivalry with Tessa Adkins-Langley, the second wife of William Sr., is epic on many levels. Sarah gradually unravels the tangled web of the Langley family genealogy and keeps us guessing until the end of Hamburg's Hybrids. Also, the author asks hard questions concerning ethnic and racial prejudice and discrimination that still haunt modern society not only in the United States but around the world. Sarah explains how our family history may affect future generations and gives us much food for thought.

Edith Wairimu

Hamburg's Hybrids by Sarah Flit Thomas is an intriguing, moving historical account of a family’s genealogy that reveals many long-held secrets about the characters and their ancestors. When business magnate William Langley Sr. dies, he leaves a documented account to his daughter-in-law, Jennifer Langley, of his family’s lineage and his life, including reasons for the personal decisions he made during his lifetime. According to William Sr.’s instructions, the document is to be delivered to Jennifer on her daughter’s wedding day; she also happens to be William Sr.’s oldest granddaughter. Beneath the carefully constructed images of the Langley family and William Sr.’s life, Jennifer discovers eye-opening and shocking details. Also included in the document is information about how Rosita Smyth, one of William Sr.’s most trusted employees, is related to the Langley family.

Thomas meticulously crafts the history of each main character including engrossing background information and historical detail. I found the lead characters such as Jennifer’s aunt and her mother-in-law fascinating. Thomas beautifully intertwines the past and the present and adeptly depicts the lives of different generations of the Langley, Hamburg, and Dusett families. I loved how well their family trees were constructed and found William’s life captivating. There are many twists in the account which I enjoyed and loved that the characters were authentic and realistic. The work explores many important topics including racial prejudice, discrimination, family relationships, and marital relationships. Hamburg's Hybrids by Sarah Flit Thomas is an engrossing genealogical account that readers will love for its memorable characters and interesting historical information.