Secret Girl

Secret GirlMolly Bruce Jacobs

Secret Girl is a combined autobiography and biography of Jacobs and her sister Anne. As she and her sister become teenagers, Jacobs’ father tells them that they have another sister, Anne, who was born with water on the brain. The baby, twin to Jacob’s sister Laura, was not expected to live and was committed. While Jacobs’ was always fascinated by her sister, she could find out very little about her from her parents, nor did she actually meet Anne until she was in her late 30s. Once she has met Anne, Jacobs’ feels a very strong connection with Anne. Despite her mostly wretched upbringing in a barred hospital, Anne is still a outspoken, funny and life-loving woman. She dances spontaneously, speaks her mind (loudly), inhales McDonald’s hamburgers and loves her job doing cleaning. Surprisingly, of the whole family, Anne seems to be the happiest.

Jacobs’ plots her life as an alcoholic and miserable career as a lawyer. She frequently makes excuses for her cold, domineering mother (making me only loathe her more) and intellectual father, who cared so little for Anne that they would not sign the papers to let her have vaccines or a state-sponsored trip to Disneyland. She tells of her divorce, efforts to help Anne while trying to stop drinking, the death of her father and other life-shaking events. Just when everything seems to have finally fallen into place, Jacobs’ adds her horribly wrenching epilogue. Definitely not a fun read by any stretch, but excellent and satisfying in its own way.