Milford family's story is now a book: 'What We Inherit' by Jessica Pearce Rotondi

Milford. Jessica Pearce Rotondi's uncle Jack Pearce was shot down during the Vietnam War, as part of the CIA's secret campaign in Laos. Her family never knew what happened. Rotondi decided to travel to Laos for answers.

29 Apr 2020 | 11:46

"My mother grew up in the small town of Milford, PA, and half of the book is set here," say Jessica Pearce Rotondi on her website (jessicapearcerotondi.com). "There are monuments to Jack in the local high school and in local parks, so it will be a very special homecoming for the book and Jack’s friends and family."

Unfortunately, that homecoming, originally scheduled for May 16 at Ambience Furniture & Fine Gifts in Milford, has been postponed because of the coronavirus. In the meantime, you can read Rotondi's new set-in-Milford book, "What We Inherit: A Secret War and a Family's Search for Answers." It's about her Milford family's decades-long search for her missing uncle Jack Pearce. Jack was shot down during the Vietnam War, as part of the CIA's secret campaign in Laos. Her family never knew what happened, and their protests and demands for information from the government were frequently covered by local papers in Milford.

Rotondi never knew any of this until she discovered a trove of family letters and correspondence describing how her grandparents and mother never gave up looking for her uncle Jack. She decided to travel to Laos for answers, and the result is her book, which Salman Rushdie called "exceptional."

Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm and filmmaker of Restrepo, says it is "written like a spy novel and delivered like a whistleblower's account of government deception, I felt like I was holding my breath until the very last page....This book shook my deepest assumptions about America."

Rotondi is conducting her book tour virtually through her website, giving readings, taking part in discussions, and even participating in a bookcentric "Nerd Jeopardy" at 8 p.m. on May 6. For more information or to sign up visit jessicapearcerotondi.com.

Hear Rotondi read from her book:
Visit jessicapearcerotondi.com/book-tour to hear Jessica Pearce Rotondi at the Strand Bookstore reading from a chapter of the book set on a mountain forbidden to foreigners in Laos, "where I’m getting closer and closer to finding my long-lost uncle’s crash site."
"Written like a spy novel and delivered like a whistleblower's account of government deception, I felt like I was holding my breath until the very last page....This book shook my deepest assumptions about America."--Author Sebastian Junger