The new NDSU Press book, Sister Secrets: A Brother's Reveal by Matthew Valan, has been added to the Institute for Regional Studies Archives book collection. The following comes from the book cover:
“Sister Secrets: A Brother’s Reveal is a study in regret and hope for living with family members who suffer from mental illness, in this case, two sisters who grew up in the Red River Valley when mental health was seldom considered part of a wellness plan. One sister is dead. The other is in prison.
Sister Secrets is written by their brother, Matthew Valan, who examines family dynamics - farm life in rural North Dakota and Minnesota, an often-absent father involved in politics, and sexual abuse - in a time and place where people often did not talk publicly (or even privately) about mental illness. His work is a revelation of glimpses, a quest to understand what may have led his sisters to act in the ways they did. His search for answers led him into dark spaces of their family life, spaces of which as a child and a younger man, he may have been aware but did not comprehend.
In the course of Valan’s research and writing, a measure of wholeness and healing came to him, unearthing a passion to help people unlock the secrets of their own lives.”