The Pale-Faced Lie by David Crow

The Pale-Faced Lie

The Pale-Faced Lie by David Crow

Rating: 2/5

What It’s About:

Growing up on the Navajo Indian Reservation, David Crow and his three siblings idolized their dad, a self-taught Cherokee who loved to tell his children about 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, one that justified cruelty, violence, lies—even murder. Intimidating David with beatings, Thurston coerced his son into doing his criminal bidding. David’s mom, too mentally ill to care for her children, couldn’t protect him.

Through sheer determination, David managed to get into college and achieve professional success. When he finally found the courage to refuse his father’s criminal demands, he unwittingly triggered a plot of revenge that would force him into a deadly showdown with Thurston Crow.


Still Processing…

I’ve been working on my review for The Pale-Faced Lie for a little while now and am struggling to figure out what my thoughts on it were exactly. There’s just something about it that didn’t sit right with me. The story was appalling and felt pretty much like watching a train wreck. There was alot of domestic violence, abuse, and neglect in this book. I kind of got the feeling like the story was sensationalized or exaggerated by the author. It’s not my story, so I can’t know for sure but…I definitely got that vibe. The writing and events quickly became repetitive and I had a hard time feeling a genuine connection to the author. I was also disappointed with the big lie reveal and the last chunk of the book once he started college.

On Child Development

Even though I didn’t really like this book, I wanted to spend a little time on the part of this book that had the most impact on me. The Pale-Faced Lie made me think very deeply about a child’s home life and how it affects their overall development. It was heartbreaking to read about all the abuse and neglect that David Crow and his siblings had to endure growing up. I thought alot about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization) and how David Crow didn’t have many of those needs met as a child. It’s amazing to me that all the siblings were able to lead successful lives into adulthood (at least from what the author says in his book).

I also reflected on how this story made me feel about my own childhood and what I am providing for my daughter from a parent’s point of view. It wasn’t until I became a parent that I finally became aware of how important a parent’s role is on the development of a child. My two years as a teacher has also given me additional insight of the variety of life circumstances that can affect a their development and success (or failures) in school. I’m not sure if I would recommend this book to others. It wasn’t what I expected, but it did make me contemplate on issues and topics that are still extremely relevant in the current world.

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear what you thought.



  1. I haven’t read this – but it’s interesting to see the honest review! If the author was exaggerating a lot, it may not be a book that’s right for me – but thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply