Secrets My Mothers Kept

“Her thoughts, half-formed, tumbled over one another, nonsensical and overwhelming. Images of her parents, her mom mostly, flickered through her mind as a realization grew within her, rising from the pit of her stomach, finally forming the coherent thought that there were going to be repercussions for the conversation she’d just had with Jeremy. Her world would change—it had already, though she couldn’t yet feel it and couldn’t fathom what those changes might be. The foundation built of all she knew was shifting beneath her feet as she wobbled.”

 

With two months left to her senior year, engineering student Austin Nobel is preparing for a summer trip to France, which includes obtaining a passport. However, when she receives her birth certificate in the mail with the wrong name on it, Austin uncovers much more than she imagined while trying to correct the mistake, including that she was adopted, something her parents had kept secret from everyone.

 

Austin pursues more information about her birth parents and their complicated history, while struggling to contain the increasingly chaotic emotions that emerge as she deals with her parents’ lies and the consequences this new revelation may have on her standing in the Reform Jewish community. Several concurrent events further rupture Austin’s tenuous grasp on her own changing identity, but the support of a new friend and old family rabbi helps Austin find strength and forgiveness as she learns to embrace her changed world and sense of self.

 

Secrets My Mothers Kept, written by an #ownvoices LGBTQ author, is an authentic exploration of one woman’s struggle with the cognitive dissonance that occurs when a person’s foundation of self is irrevocably altered, and the beauty, strength, and hope that can be found in new discoveries. 

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