Annie's Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret
Annie's Ghosts A Journey into a Family Secret Author:Steve Luxenberg A Michigan Notable Book for 2010 — One of the Washington Post Book World's "Best Books of 2009," MemoirBeth Luxenberg was an only child. Or so everyone thought. Six months after Beth's death, her secret emerged. It had a name: Annie.Praise for Annie's Ghosts "Annie's Ghosts is one of the m... more »ost remarkable books I have ever read . . . From mental institutions to the Holocaust, from mothers and fathers to children and childhood, with its mysteries, sadness, and joy--this book is one emotional ride."
--Bob Woodward, author of The War Within and State of Denial "Steve Luxenberg sleuths his family's hidden history with the skills of an investigative reporter, the instincts of a mystery writer, and the sympathy of a loving son. His rediscovery of one lost woman illuminates the shocking fate of thousands of Americans who disappeared just a generation ago."
--Tony Horwitz, author of A Voyage Long and Strange and Confederates in the Attic "I started reading within minutes of picking up this book, and was instantly mesmerized. It's a riveting detective story, a moving family saga, an enlightening if heartbreaking chapter in the history of America's treatment of people born with what we now call special needs."
--Deborah Tannen, author of You Just Don't Understand and You're Wearing That? "This is a memoir that pushes the journalistic envelope . . . Luxenberg has written a fascinating personal story as well as a report on our communal response to the mentally ill."
--Helen Epstein, author of Where She Came From and Children of the Holocaust "A wise, affecting new memoir of family secrets and posthumous absolution."
--The Washington Post "Annie's Ghosts will resonate for many, whether the chords have to do with family secrets, the Depression, memories of a thriving Detroit, the Holocaust's horrors, or the immigrant experience."
There is quite a story here. This book is part memoir, part investigation, part history. The memoir is really a biography of the author's mother, and the sister that he didn't know existed until after his mother died. There is a lot of history on mental illness and subsequent hospitalization, as well as the treatment of people with developmental disabilities. The book is long and some may find it drawn out, but all in all it was very good and interesting.