That is Equal Parts Psychological Thriller and Horror Story
During an interview in which the author is asked about how and why the Churchills declined to talk to her about this matter, she wryly replied, “I don’t know, maybe this happens to the Churchills a lot.” After watching that, I knew I had to read this book.
You don’t need to be interested in adoption per se to appreciate this superb book which has something for everyone: international intrigue, stonewalling bureaucracies, perturbed characters who will fight tooth and nail to keep their secrets nailed firmly shut lest their psyches crumble…and even a number of eerily prophetic seers and finally a catharsis of sorts.
The author proves that she is likely the Churchill most deserving of the mantle of the family name both by the way she pursues her quest for the truth and by the way she lives her life in service to others; by the time the author comes face to face with her Churchill brother and nephew at a polo event in their honor, they scurry around like mice to avoid being snapped in the same frame with her. One is only left to shake their heads and pity these poor men.
Even though this particular adoption includes a storied cast of characters that may or may not have included a former President, one is left to question the way adoption was and continues to be practiced in this country; it appears to serve the perceived interests of everyone except the adoptee, many of whom reach adulthood with state-imposed blinders on that prevent them from being able to look back and absorb the significance of whence they came.
The book doesn’t state the following observations outright, but it is worth mentioning that a casual googl-ing of the Churchills shows many of the recognized descendants to be rife with misdoings and misdeeds- drug busts, legacies unfulfilled, etc. Churchill was known to say that he loved his son Randolph (the author’s biological father) but did not like him. Randolph appears to have demonstrated the narcissistic traits of a child from a privileged family who was not given enough boundaries to set a course to a stable adulthood.
The author’s biological mother has her own mound of psychological baggage, and she too, dies without having to acknowledge any of her own poor judgment. We do not know if she was threatened and had no choice, if she was too weak to assert her motherhood or a combination of the two. In any case, even after most of the people with first-hand involvement are dead, the biological mother concludes her days without ever acknowledging the author’s biological father’s role in her conception, though she provides an age-old clue when she is a little too quick to scoff “that’s ridiculous” at mention of his name.
I hope this book is made into a movie one day. It is a compelling story with some universal truths that deserves to be retold.