My Secret Sister
Why did you write your book?
We cannot remember how many times we have been asked this question since our book was published! Let me explain why.
When Jenny discovered that she was adopted at the age of 14, she was driven to find her birth mother and extended family. She could never have dreamt what a journey that search would be! When she found me she believed we were half sisters, little did she know!
As we delved deeper into our story we discovered an amazing myriad of lies surrounding the circumstances of our birth. We eventually realised that everyone, yes everyone knew our story except us!
Following years of exhaustive research, the truth was finally revealed. We were stunned to say the least when at last knew we were twins.
We had lost 59 years of growing up together, as sisters, how could we possibly deal with that?
We decided to write our life stories for each other to share, this was much harder than it may sound, there were many tears, much laughter and a lot of heartache. But, when it was done we were amazed at how our two lives had run parallel to each other. We had never really been apart.
As we shared our story with family and friends, without reservation everyone said ‘this is amazing you just have to write a book!’
So after many long conversations, we decided that what had always caused the problem for us was the secrecy surrounding our birth, so to write a book would be the end to that secrecy and in some way be a healing process for us both.
The process of writing our book was indeed a cathartic experience because in the writing we were laying the ghosts of the past and creating a foundation for our future together as twins.
As two women now in our sixties, when the big day of publication arrived, we could never have foreseen the whirlwind of publicity and the worldwide reaction that our story would bring!
Everyone knows of someone who has a skeleton in the family closet, the more we talked to people, in radio and television interviews, book signings and other appearances the more deeply we were moved by those who have felt the need to share their stories with us, those who were needing someone to talk to, people who empathised with us.
One lady travelled all day on the bus to a book signing appearance, just to talk to us and ask for advice.
Another young man was a musician on a search for his sister. He sent us a recording of a song he had written. Not only women contacted us; a truck driver emailed to say how he had cried for us and others many times over asking for help.
Somehow in the telling of our story we had struck a chord with millions of people all over the world who have cried for us and in their hearts have secrets of their own.
Most have said that reading about us has inspired them to continue searching for the truth.
As we have said so many times, ‘everyone has a story, and it’s not just us’
We have been inundated with emails from all over the world and have promised that everyone who makes contact will have a reply. It has been truly amazing how many emails have revealed the heartbreak, sadness, and loneliness out there.
We are still working daily on replying to each and every one, it is a huge task but we will get there. It means a lot to us that people take the time to tell us their own very personal life story and because they have read about us, feel a unique closeness to us.
Somehow, this has been a large part of our own healing process, the sharing and understanding between people in similar circumstances worldwide.
Never give up, because every child has a right to know, no matter how old they are.
Helen Edwards and Jenny Lucas
My Secret Sister still remains in the Number One Best Seller position in Canada where it has been for the last six weeks.
We are both thrilled to see our book doing so well over the pond, thank you Canada!