Friday, October 23, 2020

The Pale-Faced Lie

Book: The Pale-Faced Lie
Author: David Crow

Growing up on the Navajo Indian Reservation, David Crow and his three siblings idolized their dad. Tall, strong, smart, and brave, the self-taught Cherokee regaled his family with stories of his World War II feats. But as time passed, David discovered the other side of Thurston Crow, the ex-con with his own code of ethics that justified cruelty, violence, lies—even murder.

A shrewd con artist with a genius IQ, Thurston intimidated David with beatings to coerce him into doing his criminal bidding. David’s mom, too mentally ill to care for her children, couldn’t protect him. One day, Thurston packed up the house and took the kids, leaving her with nothing. Soon he remarried, and David learned that his stepmother was just as vicious and abusive as his father.

Through sheer determination, and with the help of a few angels along the way, David managed to get into college and achieve professional success. When he finally found the courage to stop helping his father with his criminal activities, he unwittingly triggered a plot of revenge that would force him into a showdown with Thurston Crow. With lives at stake, including his own, David would have only twenty-four hours to outsmart his father—the brilliant, psychotic man who bragged that the three years he spent in the notorious San Quentin State Prison had been the easiest time of his life.-Goodreads

Review: Readers who enjoyed The Glass Castle and Educated may like this memoir about David Crow, a man with an alcoholic, abusive father and mentally ill mother. I found David's story equally fascinating and horrifying. No child should go through what David and his siblings did in their youth. And anyone who has grown up with a manipulative parent knows how hard it can be to break free, even as an adult. 

Dad always had more compassion for animals than he did for humans. I was almost jealous of that poor coyote. Why couldn’t he show the same kindness toward his four children and their mom?

“You can’t change your childhood, but you can let it go,” he said.

Grade: 4/5

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