Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret

Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret - Steve Luxenberg When I finished Annie's Ghosts, Steven Luxenberg's memoir/investigative piece about his mother's secret sister, I had tears in my eyes. After his mother's death, Luxenberg discovers that his mother, who had always said she was an only child, had a secret, disabled and mentally ill sister who lived for years in an asylum, with few visitors and no hope of ever returning home. Not content to merely uncover the secret, Luxenberg wants to know why- why Annie was institutionalized, why his mother kept her a secret, why other family members handled Annie's situation the way they did, and what other secrets ultimately lay dormant in the family. At the end, Luxenberg has covered topics as diverse as the history of the Michigan mental health system, attitudes towards the disabled and mentally ill over the years, the Holocaust, the Depression, and more. Throughout the focus remains tight on the secret"- Annie's life and death- and Luxenberg's determination to find out all he can while the remaining witnesses are still alive to testify. I found Annie's Ghosts to be a riveting