Story of secret sisters

REUNITED twins, who were separated at birth, have put pen to paper to tell their remarkable story.

The Herald reported in December the sensational tale of Helen Edwards and Jenny Lee Smith who not only discovered they were long-lost sisters, but found out they were twins.

The pair were born at the Mona Taylor hospital, but were separated at birth when Jenny was given up for adoption.

Helen, who lives in Morpeth, had a difficult childhood, with a neglectful mother and violent father, while Jenny was treated with nothing but love and support.

However, she was keen to find her birth family and in 2003 tracked down her mother and discovered she had a sister.

But it was only after their mother’s death in 2007 that she managed to trace Helen and the pair were reunited.

They assumed they must be half-sisters, but a DNA test in 2009 confirmed they were full sisters and further research showed they are non-identical twins – with Helen finding out that she is 15 months older than she thought.

Now the pair have published a book about their story, My Secret Sister.

Helen, 64, said: “It has been a very good experience writing the book. There was both overwhelming sadness and joy, but it was a good thing for us to do.

“Really, we started writing the book for each other. We only got together six years ago so we started writing down the part of our lives that each other had missed.

“Once we started writing we realised what an extraordinary story it was and that is when we decided to make an effort to publish a book.”

Despite the emotional turmoil experienced by the twins, Helen said the book is an uplifting read.

“We didn’t want it to be just another miserable memoir. There is a lot of turmoil, but it is really uplifting and there is a happy ending. It is a very positive message at the end,” she said.

“We have spoken to so many people in similar situations to us, maybe not to the same extent, but people who have been adopted and wanted to find family, and this is a positive story for those still searching.”

The twins’ story has attracted huge attention across the UK and next week they will even be interviewed for Russian television.

Morpeth residents and shoppers can hear the tale first hand when the pair hold a book signing in Waterstones in Sanderson Arcade on Saturday. The session runs from 2pm to 4pm.