Prometheus Books, $25.00, 301 pages
Nancy Segal’s Someone Else’s Twin intertwines the stories of separated-at-birth twins, with clinical research, first person interviews, and case statistics to present the horrifying stories of what happens when mothers take the wrong baby home from the hospital. Segal is a preeminent twin researcher and is a twin herself so she has a special feeling for her subject, and she does interject her own first person perspective into this book frequently, both to empathize with her subjects, and to make comparisons between the reported experiences of identical twins, and her own personal experience as a fraternal twin.
Parts of this book are very research-heavy, so readers who are looking for a scandalous tabloid story will be disappointed. However, Segal gives details of several switched-at-birth stories that she has first hand knowledge of, and readers may be shocked at how easy and frequent it is to receive the wrong baby at the hospital. Segal also makes sensible recommendations for how to reduce the number of baby switches (which she claims are largely due to human error), which again rachets down the fear or shock value of this book. The book itself was interesting, while not being sensationalistic, with concrete advice based on years of clinical experience.