In a family memoir that reads like a detective novel, Rhonda Noonan recounts her 30-year quest to find the truth of her own background - and what she uncovered will surprise listeners as much as it did her. Rhonda was born and adopted in Oklahoma, a state with closed adoption records. And, although she was cherished by her adoptive family, she - like so many adoptees - felt a burning desire to find and make contact with her birth parents.
Her three-decade-long search involved institutional stonewalling; the intervention of numerous judges, attorneys, and detectives; mountains of paperwork and court filings, and thousands of dollars in expenses. Tirelessly tracking down lead after lead - and with the otherworldly help of a friend named Lillie - Rhonda finally unearthed her true history.
Her father was none other than Randolph Churchill, son of Sir Winston Churchill. The State Department of Human Services and the FBI laid down an intricate cover-up, with Averell Harriman and President Truman on the periphery. The evidence was clear - there was no question in her mind (though her efforts to secure incontrovertible proof in the form of a DNA test were stymied by the Churchill family).
Rhonda had gone about finding her heritage just as her paternal grandfather had conducted his military campaigns: relentlessly and with no small amount of courage. Like him, she triumphed. The events leading up to her discovery, as well as the aftermath of the astonishing revelation and her face-to-face confrontation of the Churchills, will leave you in awe of this intrepid heroine of her own life.
As full of twists, turns, and suspense as the best fiction, The Fifth and Final Name should prove inspiring to all who yearn to uncover the secrets buried within their own family histories.
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