My Secret Sister by Helen Edwards and Jenny Lee Smith is the true story of twins separated very shortly after birth. Helen suffered years of abuse with her neglectful mother and a violent abusive father, while Jenny was a well loved adopted child in a supportive home who went on to become a champion golfer. Neither knew they had a twin sister.
I don't want to give away too much of the story, but suffice it to say it is a heart-warming tale of two women who were not afraid to search for the truth about their origins. Helen's story is tragic: Chapter 1 begins "Fear is my earliest memory. Fear of being out there, alone. It was one of those dark winter evenings; the sleet slanted at me with a wind cold enough to sting my skin. I was sitting in my hand-me-down pram, strapped in with no blankets - just a loose waterproof cover on which a puddle had formed and was frosting over. I tried to lean forward and look out. The cover slipped and the icy water trickled down onto my bare legs. My damp clothes hung heavy around me and my bonnet's fur trim, bedraggled in the sleet, clung to my cheeks like icy fingers. I felt numb, abandoned. I yearned for her to come. I whimpered and cried as loud as I could, my frozen cheeks smarting from the warmth of my tears." I was hooked by the end of that first page... As a mother with children I love with all my heart, I just couldn't help thinking how could any mother be so cruel and heartless to her own child?
Jenny's upbringing was happier, but she always felt something was missing. When in her fifties, she decides to search for her birth family and finds her sister Helen. Together, they continue to unravel the mystery and uncover family secrets that shatter what Helen thought she knew about her family...
A moving tale of two strong women, unafraid of confronting their past, despite many disappointments along the way. Four stars from this reader.
"Stories never really end... even if the books like to pretend they do. Stories always go on. They don't end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page." ~ Unknown