My Sunday book review introduces author Deborah Carroll and her memoir, Tales from the Family Crypt.
What if your true story is more bizarre than fiction? This intriguing narrative nonfiction memoir reads like a compelling novel. Deborah Carroll and her husband Ned want to do what it takes to care for their aging parents and help them face death peacefully. Their difficult, dysfunctional, and despicable siblings want something else. They want to grab money and power. They are controlling people in situations beyond their control.
These siblings will stop at nothing to accomplish their missions. They will lie and cheat, they will take advantage of the dying; they will even break the law.
Ultimately it’s a love story that twists and turns with humor and insight about what makes or breaks the bonds of family. Deborah and her husband are compassionate people. They thought they had happy childhoods in normal families. They could not have predicted how low their adult siblings would go to get what they wanted. The death of aging parents can challenge even good families. In troubled families with any type of family rift, disputes over eldercare and inheritances can be astronomically distressing.
Thanks to a deep and abiding love and a resolute determination to do the right thing, Ned and Deborah are able to transcend the challenges and go on to live a wonderful life. A great read for anyone with a family.
My Review – 5 Stars – Aging, Dying, Dysfunction and Overcoming
Many families have their own type of dysfunction. In this book, Carroll shares her stories of just some of the things many of us can relate to with dysfunction. Carroll takes us in by demonstrating the traits in her family members that contributed to their chaotic personalities by the actions they took.
The book encompasses aging and dying parents and what some families endure throughout the process. From the broken relationship the author has with her sister, to putting up with her husband’s sibling’s distorted versions of love and compassion when dealing with the inevitable death of their mother, dysfunct abounds from many angles.
The element of toxic relationships is brought to the forefront in this story, and although sad in many ways, the author manages to keep her sanity and marriage intact throughout all of it. I commend Carroll for her stamina, and I especially liked the ending when she explained her feelings and perceptions about the people she wrote about. A must read for anyone dealing with these issues.