This is an incredible detective story that is true. The full title of this book is "A Journey Into a Family Secret". Luxenberg is on a search for an aunt, the sister of his mom that he never knew existed until shortly before his mother's death. The saddest part of the book is the fact that he never asks his mother about her sister because when he firsts learns of her, it is inaccurate information. He thinks the sister has died as a very young child. Later he learns that his mother never grew up as an only child but with a younger sister who was institutionalized at age 21. His mother was two years older.
Luxenberg searches medical records when he can get them and interviews old family relatives and acquaintances to see what they remembered or knew with mixed results. In his search he turns up other secrets long hidden or forgotten. An amazing journey into the past trying to make sense of his mother's decision not to share the existence of a sister. A sad journey into the past when he learns the conditions in which his aunt lived and died in Michigan mental institutions. His story makes you wonder what secrets may lie in all our past family histories.