This book is written by a descendant of a South Carolina slave holding family who used his family's records to search for and find many of the living descendants of the slaves who had been owned by his ancestors. The narrative tells the stories of his search and his many interviews, and along the way he also tells the history of slavery in America. As best I can tell, the book tells things like they really were and doesn't try to protect his family's reputation. It's interesting to note that many of the slave descendants he interviewed were his distant cousins. Strong research and writing lead to stunning results in this story that won the National Book Award. I have to confess that I listened to an abridged audio version of the book which was the only audio format available. (The audio version didn't show up in a search of current publications.) I found the book interesting and easy to listen to.