Title: Betty’s Child
Author: Donald Dempsey
Genre/Audience: Memoir, adult
Publication: Dream of Things Media, 2013
Source: For review
What a story! This memoir chronicles young Donny’s life with his abusive, con artist mother, Betty. We see Donny at age 12 being forced to take care of his younger brothers as his mother brings in a string of loser boyfriends, runs scams which are constantly putting them on the run from the law, and neglects her children. They live in a bad neighborhood where Danny befriends Tommy and learns to live a life of petty crime that gets increasingly worse with each crime and theft they commit.
While Donny’s childhood was obviously no walk in the park and was really quite depressing, his story was just so interesting that it read like a novel. Even though he had his bad moments, he loved his brothers whom he reluctantly cared for, and had a faithful friend in his dog, Benji, who helped him through (even after one of the abusive boyfriends kicked Benji and beat Donny). While this story is mostly depressing, Donny is quite funny in telling his story at times. His comebacks and one-liners to his friends are priceless and witty. He could obviously think fast on his feet which seemed to get him out of trouble a lot of the time.
This is probably one of the best memoirs I have read. At times, I didn’t want to put it down and stayed up late reading it to see what kind of trouble Donny would get into next, and while it was a bit long, I still didn’t want it to end. This is a fantastic story and if he writes another book or memoir, I’ll be the first in line to read it! I highly recommend this one for all fans of memoirs.