Book Review, Memoir, Non Fiction, Review

Book Review: ‘The Pale-Faced Lie’, by David Crow { and Giveaway }

4.80 avg. rating (96% score) - 5 votes

About the Author, David Crow:

David Crow spent his early years on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona and New Mexico. Through grit, resilience, and a thirst for learning, he managed to escape his abusive childhood, graduate from college, and build a successful lobbyist business in Washington. Today, David is a sought-after speaker, giving talks to various businesses and trade organizations around the world.

Throughout the years, he has mentored over 200 college interns, performed pro bono service for the charitable organization Save the Children, and participated in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. An advocate for women, he will donate 10 percent of his book royalties to Barrett House, a homeless shelter for women in Albuquerque. David and his wife, Patty, live in the suburbs of DC.

About the Book, ‘The Pale-Faced Lie’:

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.

The Pale-Faced Lie is a searing, raw, palpable memoir that reminds us what an important role our parents play in our lives. Most of all, it’s an inspirational story about the power of forgiveness and the ability of the human spirit to rise above adversity, no matter the cost.

Review of ‘The Pale-Faced Lie’, by David Crow

This heart wrenching story of a son forced to commit crimes by his own father reads seamlessly as fiction—in a good way.  I found myself forgetting that I was reading a memoir, and got carried away by the writing, the story, and the characters.  Sharing memoirs of unique situations made universal through certain common themes become even more powerful when presented in such a form, and author David Crow has definitely proven that he can write like the best of them.

The theme of a father leading his son into a world of crime might seem fantastic enough that almost no reader (I hope…) will connect to it.  But as mentioned previously, there are universal themes that Crow underlines very well in his book, which makes his story to anyone who, well, has parents: the need to please them, to have their approval and, ultimately, their love.  As the daughter of loving parents, such books help me understand the pain that those with parents not as loving as mine go through, and help me remain understanding and open-minded when discussing such matters.  I can thus easily shelve The Pale-Faced Lie in a category of powerful books, the ones, in my opinion, that are the most important to read: a book that opens our minds to lives lived differently than ours.

The theme that I am particularly thinking of is that of abortion, a hot topic button right now, more so than usual with the passing of or discussion of passing laws, in the some parts of the United States, making abortion illegal and punishable by prison, life in prison, and even death.  Jodi Picoult’s A Spark of Life, reviewed here, help us understand the pain a woman goes through to get an abortion.  David Crow’s The Pale-Faced Lie underlines the hypocrisy of a system that paints itself as pro-life but then failed to provide said life with the support it needs to thrive.

Final Thoughts

A harrowing read, The Pale-Faced Lie is, ultimately, an inspirational story of the importance of forgiveness and the strength of the human spirit which can, despite horrific beginnings, can still arise above it and become a source of inspiration.


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4.80 avg. rating (96% score) - 5 votes

1 thought on “Book Review: ‘The Pale-Faced Lie’, by David Crow { and Giveaway }

  1. I just finished reading the newly released book, The Pale Faced Lie. I could not put this book down. It made me mad, laugh, and at the end cry a bit. The story is fascinating. How David Crow managed to make his way through childhood without being killed as a young boy by his parents or from his many misadventures and pranks is remarkable. You want to cheer for him when he finally gets a break in moving off of the Navaho reservation, but entering public school in Maryland he is way behind his peers, then somehow he completes college with no financial help and eventually establishes a very successful lobbying firm in Washington, DC. Even though you know this is his true life story, you find yourself rooting for him as you read the book. I loved this book.

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