About The Book:
Throughout her childhood, Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff frequently visited Rosemary Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy’s sister. Why? Koehler-Pentacoff’s aunt, Sister Paulus Koehler, a Franciscan nun, was Rosemary’s devoted caregiver at St. Coletta in Jefferson, Wisconsin for fifteen years and her driver and travel companion for over thirty.
The resulting book, which will be will be the first about this mysterious Kennedy, chronicles Rosie’s life along with that of the author’s aunt, and delves into the similarities between the two families. It includes more than 100 photos, many of them never before seen private, Kennedy quotes from the author’s interviews, and anecdotes about Rosemary and her famous family.
The book delves into Rosemary’s misdiagnosed condition, why her father sought an experimental brain surgery for her without his wife’s knowledge, how he kept this fact hidden from the rest of his family for twenty years, and what Rosemary was actually like after her lobotomy. And it will show how Rosemary was the catalyst behind the Special Olympics and related legislation from 1960 to the present. The Kennedys considered the author’s aunt to be a member of their family.
Through the author’s relationship with Rosemary, Sister Paulus, and her other relatives, the author discovered how family, faith, and silence intertwine to strengthen or destroy our relationships, no matter our status or circumstance in life, whether one comes from in a rich, extraordinary family or a poor, ordinary one.
"The Missing Kennedy" is not only the story of Rosemary Kennedy, Rose and Joe Kennedy's third child, it is also the story of Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff's unique relationship with the famous Kennedy sister as well as the story of Koehler-Pentacoff's aunt, Sister Paulus.
A memoir of two families who were joined together through one huge secret, but who found solace and comfort with each other through the care of the beloved Rosemary. The author intertwines the stories of all involved with ease and keeps the storyline moving along at an easy-to-read pace.
I particularly enjoyed the large amount of photos, both of the Kennedy family and the Koehler family - it added interest to the overall feel of the book.
Fans of the Kennedy family will be intrigued with the tale of Rosemary and the sad, but somehow joyous existence she led, despite traumatic odds and the warm and caring family who helped Rosemary to live a safe and untroubled life. I recommend it for those readers who enjoy memoirs.
My thanks to Bancroft Press for providing the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.