I just finished this book and I guess I was somewhat disappointed : I think I was looking for something a little more revelatory about Rosemary Kennedy. Ironically, the reason the book wasn’t able to reveal more was outlined in the Author’s Note — a bill sponsored and passed by Senator Edward Kennedy in 1996, called HIPAA, made the medical records relating to Rosemary’s lobotomy surgery in 1941 permanently inaccessible.
That being said, the author does a very good job of recounting Rosemary’s life growing up in America and England. She also outlines all the great work Eunice Kennedy did in the intervening years with the Special Olympics, spurred on by her sister Rosemary’s disabilities .
On a personal note, Rosemary’s story gave me more background on some issues I know about firsthand in trying to assimilate individuals with disabilities in educational and vocational situations. It also pointed out to me the stigma and fear people experienced if they had a family member with a disability, often causing families to keep members at home with them or institutionalize them if they could not meet their needs. Finally, it reinforced what I already knew — families can benefit in so many ways from accepting and welcoming members with disabilities into their lives.