"I DEVOURED THIS BOOK IN ONE BREATHLESS GULP. A SEAMLESS BLEND OF LOVE, LOSS AND LEGACY, THIS UTTERLY GRIPPING ACCOUNT OF ONE WOMAN'S SEARCH TO UNCOVER A FAMILY MYSTERY IN THE WAKE OF HER MOTHER'S DEATH IS AT ONCE HEARTBREAKING AND GORGEOUSLY HOPEFUL. THIS IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF COMPULSIVELY-READABLE MEMOIR I'M ALWAYS HOPING TO FIND, BUT SO RARELY DO." - CLAIRE BIDWELL SMITH, AUTHOR OF THE RULES OF INHERITANCE
ABOUT THE BOOK
On March 29, 1972, a 24-year-old American soldier disappeared when his plane was shot down over the mountains bordering Vietnam during the CIA-led “Secret War” in Laos. His body was found 36 years later, identified by blood drawn from his sister as she was dying of breast cancer.
That missing boy was my uncle – and his sister my mother. It was only after her death that I uncovered boxes of letters, declassified CIA documents, and newspaper interviews chronicling my family’s four-decade search to bring my uncle Jack home. These inherited records of loss became a road map through my own grief, leading me to recreate a trip my grandfather took to Southeast Asia in 1973 in search of his son. What I find in the remote jungle brings me closer to my grandfather, my missing uncle, and the mother I have lost.
Alternating between present-day Thailand and Laos, my mother's sickbed, and my grandfather's David and Goliath battle with the government in the '70s and '80s, What We Inherit melds memoir with travelogue to tell a multi-generational story of hope and loss.
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