Living with the Devil’s Daughter: A True Story
by Webster T. George
Stratton Press Publishing

"I grew up feeling inferior to everyone. My father and mother, although not knowing what they were doing, had taught me that everyone was better than I was."

A story of longstanding familial dysfunction with roots in the author’s childhood, George focuses on a history of deception that begins after he marries his wife, Patsy, in 1961. Warren, her son from a previous marriage, lives with them. Eight months after the wedding, Kevin is born. It soon becomes apparent that Kevin is not George’s son. However, more surprises await the author as he discovers Patsy’s covetous ways and the darkness of her and Warren’s true character. The drama is compounded for the author because he suffers debilitating pain due to a work accident from which he gets limited relief. He develops major depression, further casting a cloud of doom over his world.

A sense of helplessness pervades the narrative: conflicts with workman’s compensation caseworkers and medical representatives pertaining to treatment, ongoing financial battles with Patsy, and struggles with his brother Earl over his swindling of their mother’s financial assets all weigh heavily on George. Evidence soon suggests that Patsy has attempted killing the author by putting strategic amounts of arsenic in his food. However, the sheriff’s office refuses to investigate.

George uses a strict timeline to narrate the events that propel the memoir. It sometimes reads like a long statement, shy of a polemic, as George wants to be assured his side is documented. As he learns of Patsy’s treachery, he records every conversation with her for legal reasons. When the Social Security Administration requires him to prove his identity for continued payments, he discovers Patsy has reported him dead, claiming she is now a widow and seeking all she is legally due. After the author learns that Patsy and Warren sexually abused Kevin when he was a child, the depth of the dysfunction is exposed. George’s memoir is a challenging read that paints a heartbreaking picture of a broken family.

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