A frequently touching domestic drama about an academic Chicago family, it mulls Big Themes: war, faith, heredity.
Not surprisingly, then, this is a book about heredity, about fathers and sons and their awkward relationships.
1530s, from Middle French hérédité (12c.), from Latin hereditatem (nominative hereditas) "heirship, inheritance, condition of being an heir," from heres (genitive heredis) "heir, heiress," from PIE root *ghe- "to be empty, left behind" (cf. Greek khera "widow"). Legal sense of "inheritable quality or character" first recorded 1784; the modern biological sense seems to be found first in 1863, introduced by Herbert Spencer.
heredity he·red·i·ty (hə-rěd'ĭ-tē)
The genetic transmission of characteristics from parent to offspring.
One's genetic constitution.
The passing of characteristics from parents to children. (See genetics.)