Ep 79 Family Secrets with Dani Shapiro

She’s back. Dani Shapiro is one of the show’s favorite all-time guests, and she returns this week to talk about her whirlwind New York Times Bestselling book Inheritance, and her new podcast Family Secrets.

Family is tender territory with no playbook, and Dani’s story is a shining example of the impact secrets have on families. She shares with Sher and Nance what it was like to have the rug of her identity pulled out underneath her, and what played out after that once her shocking discovery had settled around her family.

Also, the gals announce some fun new Pillar news including Pillar Pages and more from inside The Pillar Life Kitchen Show.



    • Dani is on a 30-city book tour for Inheritance, and she feels a strong sense of purpose. She loves seeing this book resonate with her readers and finds this work opens up a dialogue for others about their family secrets.
    • Dani learned from taking a DNA test that her beloved dad was not her biological father. This sent shockwaves to her system and began a huge journey that led to the inspiration for Inheritance.
    • This story reflects that our world is constantly changing, and we are making new breakthroughs in science and DNA testing every year. The days of secrecy are coming to an end, and we are shifting towards transparency.
    • We often create a story that resonates so much on our end that we bend reality and truly believe that particular truth.
    • The nature of trauma is you can’t recollect it as a story.
    • Dani felt like an outsider for years and the pieces didn’t add up as to why she always felt as though something was off. She knows now that just because something is not spoken, it doesn’t mean it does not exist. We are constantly picking up on emergencies, both those we can see and those that are subconscious.
    • Dani’s story is one of liberation and freedom, in large part due to everyone involved acting with pure grace and kindness.
    • Dani writes in order to understand what she is feeling, and it helps her become clear on her own internal connection.
    • Dani wrote 5 novels and 4 memorials before Inheritance, and all of them were about the corrosive power of secrets. When she looked at it again, it was clear she was searching for a clue.
    • Her podcast Family Secrets encourages us to release the shame and fear attached to our secrets, and speak our truth to the world.
    • Listener Inbox: You are never too old to rev that engine. We hear from a listener who is 59, and certainly feelin’ fine.


Mentioned in This Episode:


Dani Shapiro

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love, by Dani Shapiro

Family Secrets Podcast

Pillar Pages

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