Author: Steven Luxenberg
Original Publication Date: 2009
Date I First Read: 2013
Basic Category: Nonfiction / Memoir / Genealogy
Basic Summary: The author was surprised after his mother’s death that he had an aunt. His mother always claimed that she was an only child. After her death, the family received a letter from the cemetery where their grandparents were buried asking if they wanted to plant flowers for them, and for a woman named Annie Cohen. Mr. Luxenberg investigates, and interviews over a hundred people in an attempt to learn the whole story behind Annie, and why his mother kept Annie a secret. Much of their unknown family history is also discovered (along with changes of surnames upon arrival in America.)
What, from this book, has stayed in my mind: I just finished reading this book a week ago . . . It is amazing that they wanted to hide their second daughter. At the time her physical and mental disabilities were considered shameful, at least in their family, and in the area Annie’s parents were originally from. It made me feel very sad for them all.