Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The Lost Girls of Willowbrook by Ellen Marie Wiseman

Imagine finding out that your twin sister hadn't passed away but has been in an institution. 
A horrible institution for the mentally challenged and an institution that tortured the patients and didn't take proper care of them.

Sage overheard her stepfather talking with a friend about how the school called and said Rosemary ran away again.

When Sage confronts him about it, he denies it.  He then explains that he and her mother thought it would be better if Sage had thought Rosemary had passed away.

Sage was furious - knowing her sister was still alive and she could have visited her was heartbreaking. 

Sage made a decision to go to the school and help find her sister.

She told no one her plans, got on a bus dressed in clothing not suitable for winter, had her purse stolen, and got pulled into the bowels of the institution with the doctors and nurses thinking she is her sister....the missing Rosemary.

What a nightmare, and to think this is based on a true story and where they put mentally challenged children for over 40 years until it was exposed by Gerald Rivera.

Ms. Wiseman takes us inside to witness the treatment of these girls and of Sage's nightmare of trying to tell everyone she is NOT Rosemary. 

They tell her that is part of her disease - Rosemary at times said she was Sage.

Reading this will appall you when you learn about the treatment of these men, women, and children.

You will also feel sorry for Sage as she sees it all and lives through it. 

I was shaking as we followed Sage through everything she endured and witnessed.

THE LOST GIRLS OF WILLOWBROOK and what horrors happened inside come alive with Ms. Wiseman's detailed writing style and flowing story line. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.


  1. Fabulous review! This book wore me out! Very stressful but very amazing!

    1. Yes. Stressful but excellent.

      Thanks for your comment, reeca.

  2. Great review.
    I’ll finish this today. It’s so good.

    1. Thanks about my review.
      Yes. Very good.
      Thanks for your comment, Linda.

  3. Wow, sounds like a compelling story!

    1. Very compelling and true.

      Thanks for commenting, Mary.

  4. Great review. It was definitely an intense story!