It is a great read. It isn't exactly --and it really is-- a family history book. The author learned after his mother's death that she had a sister who was hidden away in an asylum until 20 years before his mother passed away. He determined to search out the hows and whys and who knews of Annie and her life.
Luxenberg ferreted out every avenue for learning about Annie and in the process uncovered other family secrets. I think his work is a good example for family historians, not only of the search, but also of seeking out individuals who can help answer questons, of interviewing, documenting, putting the events in context of the time period, and of sharing the results of his research.
Here are a few quotes from the book:
Just as secrets have a way of breaking loose, memories often have a way of breaking down. They elude us, or aren't quite sharp enough, or fool us into remembering things that didn't quite happen that way. Yet much as a family inhabits a house, memories inhabit our stories, make them breathe, give them life. So we learn to live with the reality that what we remember is an imperfect version of what we know to be true. (on page 3)
Like so many of my questions, I had to believe that the answers were out there, and that with the right combination of luck and determination, I would discover them. But sometimes, I felt like someone rummaging through a lost and found: You go there looking for one item, and then you come across something else you
didn’t even know was missing. (on pages 150-151)
All it takes is one–one name, one address, one correct piece of information–to wipe away weeks of frustration. (on page 177)
Has anyone else read Annie's Ghosts? If so, what did you think?