Jacobs, Molly Bruce 1954(?)-

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Jacobs, Molly Bruce 1954(?)-


Born c. 1954, in Baltimore, MD; daughter of Bradford McEldery Jacobs (a journalist and editor) and Molly Carter Bruce (an activist). Education: Graduated from Cornell University; Columbia University, J.D.


Home—West Stockbridge, MA. Agent—Jenny Dunham, Dunham Literary Agency, 156 5th Ave., Ste. 625, New York, NY 10010-7002. E-mail[email protected]


Writer; worked previously for the National Council for U.S.-China Trade, Washington, DC, and as an attorney in Baltimore, MD.


Secret Girl (memoir), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals and literary journals, including Redbook, Baltimore Sun, Rosebud, Moxie, Crescent Review, Potpourri, Baltimore Review, and Potomac Review, as well as anthologies including Great Writers, Great Stories: Writers from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.


When Molly Bruce Jacobs was thirteen years old, she learned she had a sister named Anne whom she had never met because, retarded from birth, Anne had been sent to live in an institution. Doctors had recommended she not even be taken home, as she would not live long, and so Jacobs's parents did as they were advised. Jacobs finally met her sister when they were both in their thirties. When asked why she went so long without going to see her sister, Jacobs told Juanita Watson in an interview for Ezine Articles that "the message I got from my family was clear: she was a family secret. She was well cared for, I told myself. At first, I was jolted, shocked, I could hardly fathom that I had another sister, much less a retarded sister."

Jacobs's decision to meet her sister was based on a number of factors, but she was primarily motivated by the way she was rebuilding her own life at the time. She was ending her marriage and attempting to deal with her alcoholism, and it felt appropriate to make a connection with her sister. The visit made her wish she had gone earlier and also inspired her to write about the relationship. Secret Girl tells both Anne's story and Molly's, addressing what it was like to learn of her sister's existence and how Jacobs felt when she finally welcomed Anne into her life. In a review for Booklist, Carol Haggas calls the book "a graphic account of one family's physical loss and one woman's emotional gain." Claudia Deane, writing for the Washington Post, remarked: "One challenge of this retelling is that its main witness, Anne, can't tell her own story. And Jacobs's blue-blooded, reserved parents have created a force field of silence so strong that, even as an adult, she cannot successfully pierce it. Left with the typewritten notes of social workers and psychiatrists, she has to do a fair bit of 'reimagining,' which she dutifully flags as such."



Jacobs, Molly Bruce, Secret Girl, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.


Booklist, December 15, 2005, Carol Haggas, review of Secret Girl, p. 8.

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2006, review of Secret Girl, p. 28.

Library Journal, March 15, 2006, Audrey Snowden, review of Secret Girl, p. 87.

Psychology Today, March-April, 2006, review of Secret Girl, p. 36.

Publishers Weekly, October 24, 2005, review of Secret Girl, p. 47.


Authors Den Web site,http://www.authorsden.com/ (March 21, 2006), Irene Watson, interview with Molly Bruce Jacobs.

Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (November 26, 2006), Karen Johnson, review of Secret Girl.

Ezine Articles Online,http://www.ezinearticles.com/ (November 26, 2006), Juanita Watson, interview with Molly Bruce Jacobs.

Molly Bruce Jacobs Home Page,http://www.mollybrucejacobs.com (November 26, 2006).

Washington Post Online,http://www.washingtonpost.com/ (March 26, 2006), Claudia Deane, review of Secret Girl.