Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kindle Book Review: Annie's Ghosts

Annie's Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg was one of the first books I purchased for my Kindle. I've been reading it off and on for the past several months. Although my reading of this book has been sporadic, it truly is a page-turner. Or page-clicker if you're a Kindle user.

Annie's Ghosts is part genealogy, part investigative reporting, part memoir and the author tells a tale of discovering a long kept family secret. While not necessarily a genealogy book, I believe that most genealogists will find the story fascinating. Luxenberg's research techniques provide a good solid foundation that any family historian should aspire to.

Luxenberg's mother, Beth, had long presented the story of herself as a only child. After her death, her family discovered a long and well-kept family secret - she had a sister named Annie. Annie had spent much of her life in institutions because of mental and physical disabilities. It was as though she never existed . . .  but Luxenberg discovers the truth that had been hidden for decades.

Luxenberg, an associate editor at The Washington Post, writes a personal story that is every bit as captivating as All the President's Men, written by Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Using his skills as a journalist, he takes his readers on his journey of discovery. The book is written so that the reader is learning each clue in the same order the author did. He follows each clue, each lead and his perseverance in conducting a "reasonably exhaustive search" is one we should all emulate.

I don't want to reveal any of the story, because it is one you must read yourself. But it is a story of secrets, skeletons in the closet and stories of the Holocaust that effected me on an emotional level as none had done before.

Learn more:

Steve Luxenberg's official site

Steve Luxenberg's Facebook page

Steve Luxenberg on Twitter

The Washington Post review of Annie's Ghosts

Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret - purchase at

Disclaimer: The link to the book on is via my affiliate status with

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