Customer Reviews for

Annie's Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret

Average Rating 4
( 43 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Compelling and touching journey to uncover a family secret.

Mr. Luxenberg has thoroughly researched every facet of his family's history in his quest to learn more about his deceased mother and the secret she took to her grave. Simultaneously, this book reads like a novel, a revealing history of mental illness treatment in the U...
Mr. Luxenberg has thoroughly researched every facet of his family's history in his quest to learn more about his deceased mother and the secret she took to her grave. Simultaneously, this book reads like a novel, a revealing history of mental illness treatment in the U.S., a memoir of WWII-era European-Americans, and a compassionate look at the interior lives of this professional writer's ancestors. I was totally absorbed from start to finish, drawn in by Mr. Luxenberg's detailed fact-finding and his unwillingness to give up his search for the truth. I am fortunate to have found an advance copy three months prior to its publication.

posted by SallyS on February 19, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

I didnt care for this book,more like textbook reading

This book was well written,but kept reverting back to insignificant characters,dates and facts pertaining to assylums.I was hoping the dulldrum of reading was going to lead to a significant and unusual ending.It did not.Very disapointed.

posted by eliska on July 14, 2010

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  • Posted September 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good story

    The family mystery is very intriguing. The author throws in a lot of other facts and little tidbits of information which don't necessarily have anything to do with the story of Annie, and could easily have been left out. He made some of these add-ons quite lenghty, which made the book boring at times. Overall, I enjoyed the story of Annie immensely, and you really start to feel for this person. Would recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2014

    Sons and mothers it's complicated

    I only finished the book because it was this year's Michigan Reads selection and I agreed to attend a discussion. The book is rather like a "good, not great" movie that is 1/2 an hour too long. In part it appears that the author was "working out" his (rather late in life) realization that his mother had a part of her existence that did not totally revolve around her children. While the details of the bureaucratic obstacles represented new, albeit not surprising information, the author's petulance about them was palpable. It was not surprising at all to me that his mother chose not to subject herself to his inquisition.

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  • Posted January 20, 2011

    where is my aunt?

    what a poignant and touching story. as the author works to give voice to a forgotten small voice Annie. he validates her life and the lives of thousands of unheard voices from a time when mental heallth truly sucked

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  • Posted February 7, 2010

    Annie's Ghosts Review

    I admire Steve Luxenberg for his research diligence even if his purpose was both personal and professional. The book offers lots of information about the institutional setting from 1930's to 1980's which is interesting but Mr. Luxenberg's writing also takes on an institutional quality. I think he tried too hard to write as an observer doing a newspaper story rather than from his inner heart, being personally involved as a nephew who discovers the existence of his aunt, he had no knowledge of because of his mom's shocking "cover up". It is too drawn-out for my taste but still I enjoyed reading it.

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    Posted September 17, 2013

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